I have some mixed feelings about Thanksgiving. While it was my family’s most beloved holiday growing up and is filled with so many sweet memories, its origins are problematic. The Thanksgiving story glazes over the reality of our country’s history of Native American genocide in favor of a much rosier (and false) narrative of peace, love, and harmony between cultures.
Still, I hold in my heart tender memories of Thanksgivings spent at my Great-Grandmother’s house on the Washington Coast every year. Memories of beach football, loads of gravy and Jell-O salad, and my Great-Grandmother Marse’s warm spirit. Besides spending every Thanksgiving at her house, we often visited for summer trips, and my husband later proposed to me in her home. While she’s now passed away and my family said goodbye to her home earlier this year, the holiday remains special for me.
We’re continuing the tradition with Friendsgiving - a celebration of friends, family, and friends who are like family, coupled with an awareness of and commitment to fighting injustice in our country. So whether your Thanksgiving holiday this year is full of lovely (if not challenging) time with family or you’re planning on spending Thanksgiving working at a restaurant and snuggling up at the end of the night with Netflix (been there, done that), here’s some inspiration for whatever friendly gatherings you have planned in the coming weeks.