What is Thanksgiving for?
Photo: Chef Sean Christopher. Source: Wikipedia
Oh, I know that millions will be full of turkey and stuffing and potatoes and football, but why do we make a national holiday out of it?
Part of it has to do with remembering our national legends, the self-image we have of pioneers carving out a life for themselves in the wilderness. We imagine ourselves having the initiative, ingenuity, and cooperation that enabled the early Pilgrims to come, learn, and grow in the New World.
Part of it is a celebration of family, both near and far. Thanksgiving is a time of gatherings and traditions. At a time of economic stress and political turmoil, family ties are more important than ever.
And simple pleasures have always been an important part of the holiday. Sports, basic food, and relationships: there’s little controversial or divisive about these icons.
From the moment that Abraham Lincoln declared a “National Day of Thanksgiving” during the Civil War, Americans have paused in November to count their blessings. Sometimes simplest pleasures are best, and the best things in life aren’t things. As we look back at a year of tumult and forward at an uncertain future, let’s give thanks for how far we’ve come, and for all the potential we see in one another.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer