One of the really great things about public schools not getting enough funding — maybe the only great thing — is that sometimes you get really interesting school supplies. Emerson’s teacher gave her several books on the first Thanksgiving to read this week. I was excited to read them too — I thought maybe there were some facts in there that I didn’t know and I was curious to see what school children in 2014 were learning about that fateful first Thanksgiving between the pilgrims and the Indians.
Well, it appears they are learning the same stuff that I learned as a child because they are reading the same books that I read. One book in particular struck me as quite insane — not only by it’s illustrations, but the way it happily toyed with the facts.
So I’ve taken that book and done a little re-writing. I’ve included the original version of the book so you can see what it says, then underneath, in italics, is my version. It’s my way of keeping Thanksgiving honest.
“Thanksgiving reminds people of the pilgrims many years ago. The pilgrims wanted to worship God in their own way, which they had not been allowed to do.”
Thanksgiving actually reminds people of how much they hate spending time with their family, how horrible traveling is during a holiday and how early they’re going to have to plan to get to Walmart to beat the crowds for black Friday.
“They began building houses. The cold winter came. The pilgrims had little food to eat and some of them died.”
Half of the pilgrims died. That’s a little more than some in my opinion. Of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower, 53 were left standing for the first Thanksgiving. Out of the 18 adult women, only 4 remained. And unfortunately, those 4 women didn’t find any of the men “super cute” at all which made the first Thanksgiving “totally awkward.”
“Spring finally arrived. Friendly Indians showed the pilgrims how to plant corn, beans and pumpkins.”
Helping the pilgrims stay alive by teaching them gardening skills would prove to be the biggest mistake the Native American people ever made. It’s best to ignore white people whenever they’re in trouble.
“They decided to have a Thanksgiving feast. The pilgrims invited their Indian friends.”
If by friends you mean, “People you will one day try to exterminate”, then hey, sure, let’s go with “friends.”
“Our Thanksgiving Day is celebrated much like the pilgrim’s Thanksgiving. Horns of plenty, representing a bountiful harvest are used for decoration.”
Honey? Where’s our Horn of Plenty? Our guests are about to arrive and what will they say if we don’t have our Horn of Plenty on the table?
“They are grand parades to watch. People ride on floats and their is music.”
So what does a parade have to do with the first Thanksgiving? Okay, I was barely hanging on with the Horn of Plenty and now you’ve totally lost your credibility with this parade nonsense.
“Family and friends gather together for a feast.”
It’s important to invite people over the have no where else to go, like big beard and his wife. Although for our own children, we never, ever let them in the group hug.
“There is cranberry sauce and a big turkey stuffed with bread crumbs.”
(But no silverware or plates)
“On Thanksgiving day, there is much to be thankful for.”
Mostly, that this book is over.