The true meaning of Thanksgiving has been betrayed, lead to consumerism

Christina Suarez, Opinion Writer

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? For many individuals, Thanksgiving is celebrated

as a time for family and friends to come together, remember the things they have to be thankful

for and eat a big turkey for dinner.


However, the real meaning of Thanksgiving is something very different than what is

taught in history books. Through cultural traditions and the mainstream media, Thanksgiving is

seen as a holiday dedicated to celebrating and remembering the very first Thanksgiving feast

between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.


This isn’t really how history went down and when discovering the truth about this national holiday, the reasoning behind black Friday being after Thanksgiving doesn’t seem so odd.


The first myth of Thanksgiving is the date of when this event occurred. It’s taught in school that the first Thanksgiving was in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


Contrary to popular belief, history reveals a number of “Thanksgivings” like feasts that predate 1621. So, when was the first Thanksgiving? Well, long before 1621 when Spanish settlers and the Seloy tribe had their first Thanksgiving in 1565.


As for the traditional story of this Puritan-Indian fellowship, the first Thanksgiving is

dated to 1637 but the origins of this day aren’t something to be celebrated.


In 1637 the Massachusetts colony Governor John Winthrop, decided to celebrate the return home of an army of hunters, which were all volunteers of the colony. This army was returning from present day Mystic, Connecticut, where they murdered 700 Pequot Indians, all of different ages and gender.


Now, 373 years later the majority of families across the world celebrate Thanksgiving

without actually knowing the tragedies that took place on this national holiday. While many

people have easily forgotten the origin of this holiday, its memory is seared into the

minds of many Native Americans.

So, where does black Friday fit into this chaos? The day following Thanksgiving, stores offer extremely discounted prices on nearly all or big ticket items that are normally given for gifts on Christmas. This phenomenon began around 1952, and was coincidentally coined a “shopping holiday.”


Whoever decided there would be a shopping holiday immediately after a day dedicated to falsely celebrating gratitude is a mystery in itself.


The sequence of these holidays is strategically perfect, families get together and share

quality time while feasting, listing off all the things they’re thankful for. Then, after feeling morally right about themselves, they feel justified to go shopping and spending hundreds of dollars on material possessions. All while, being ignorant about the real story of Thanksgiving.


Despite general ignorance and numerous flawed history textbooks, people themselves are not the only ones at fault. America is known as the leading country of consumerism. Nearly everything in this country is built around the idea of needing things in order to be or feel something.


This idea is displayed nationwide in commercial advertising on television, ads on websites, billboards along the freeway and even imbedded into popular movies and shows.


People go Christmas shopping right after Thanksgiving for three reasons: to get the best deals, to get the newest, hottest item on the market before anyone else and to gain the acceptance of the person they are buying the gift for.


This is the ultimate irony of Thanksgiving and black Friday, two fabricated “holidays” mutilated by the American population to represent a more appealing reality.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California