Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. It is used to celebrate man's ability to produce. It is a day filled with wonderful things to commemorate a person's production throughout the year.
The mouth-watering turkey, aromatic pies, savory trimmings and, in some cases, cosmopolitan decorations are a testament to weath creation. It is these facets of the holiday that should be a source of pride to every self-reliant person.
However, there are those, motivated by hatred for mankind and our comfort and happiness, who would rather make Thanksgiving into a day based on guilt.
Thanksgiving critics, such as environmentalists and religionists, criticize our lifestyles. They say that Americans should be ashamed for consuming so much (especially food). Our material abundance, they say, contributes to a depletion of things like the planet's natural resources.
Critics insist that the construction of homes and buildings, usage of fossil fuels, abundance of food and drink, driving vehicles are cause, not for celebration, but should be condemned. That we should feel guilt for our selfish ways and that Americans have a duty to give reparations to those less fortunate.
They shutter at the possibility of the rest of the world being able to consume the way Americans do.
If the world came to consume the way we do, it will result in a utopia, not a dystopia as many doom-gloomers insist. For the world to embrace economic freedom, even in minimal amounts, means that the production of wealth is multiplied.
Human survival is not automatic. In order for someone to live, their life depends on producing successfully. From the food we eat, the clothes on our backs, the science researched and art forms we enjoy, every act of production requires thought. The greater the thought, the greater the creation.
Yet all production is the result of creation. The wealth created where it didn't exist before and was the result of human effort to reshape places and elements considered of little value into a scheme to benefit mankind. Not the result of mystical creation as told in holy texts such as the Bible or Koran.
In terms of Thanksgiving, less than a year after the founding of the Jamestown settlement in the 1600's, only 46 of the 104 original colonists were left alive, most having perished for lack of food.
This was due, in large part, to the colonists casting off their relgious tenents, since applying them to their way of life was destructive. At first, colonial land and farming was owned and worked on a communal basis along with the care and raising of children.
It wasn't until rejecting their religious beliefs and embracing free trade that the death, famine and misery that resulted from the Jamestown colonists initial communistic policy ended. The Pilgrims were so pleased with the results from their change of heart that they prospered and didn't starve that they saw it as an occasion for a Thanksgiving.
However, the colonist's bold step required thought and action to put their new policies to work. In order to survive, the colonists had to produce. And to produce, they used their logic and reason.
It was Abraham Lincoln who made the first Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863. Upon making his declaration, Lincoln stated that we have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.
Yet this statement and the many declarations made by clergy and environmentalists condemning our abundance while calling on us to sacrifice for the greater good or because society or some mystical element - such as God or nature - demands it, is an insult to everything we work for throughout the year.
Thanksgiving is not about faith and charity. It is about thought and production. The proper thanks for one's wealth is not mystical guilt, sacrifice or condemnation but celebration, if one has rightly and morally earned it.
When you sit at the dinner table with family and friends ready to consume your dinner on fine china, ignore those who damn your ability to live by calling for you to sacrifice and revel in the day since it is done in commemoration of your hard work and effort.
You have earned it.