A Thanks and Giving American Indian Heritage Month

Thanks and Giving during American Indian Heritage Month – a Personal View

My View on November

November is traditionally, as most people know it, the month of the year, where we remember to be Thankful for the blessings in our lives, when all too often, we forget that we are blessed with so much.  November is also American Indian Heritage Month.  And as we close the chapter on this November of Two Thousand Eighteen, I would like to offer a different, yet poignant view on Thanksgiving than what you are accustomed to.

American Indian Heritage Month

November was first declared American Indian Heritage Month by President George H. W. Bush back in August 1990, and it was a landmark Bill honoring America’s Tribal people.  The Bill and the month aim to provide a platform for the Native peoples in America to share their culture, traditions, music, ways, and lifestyle.  Further, the goal is to Native people the opportunity to express to their community current concerns.

It seems so odd to me that someone would choose to make November American Indian Heritage Month. Although I celebrate Thanksgiving, I celebrate it in terms of being thankful for what my family and I have, not the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.  Especially because what we have come to know as the story of Thanksgiving does not include factual Native American history.  Thanksgiving, has become a period of remembering and mourning for Native Americans, of how a gift of generosity to strangers became theft of land, corn, and the death of so many Native people from disease.

My American Indian Heritage

Since it is American Indian Heritage Month, I’d like to take a moment a share a little about my heritage and how my family keeps the culture and traditions alive.  I am a descendant of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe, which are located in the plains of the North and South Dakota.  I can remember as a very small girl going to Pow Wows going to Pow Wows with my parents, listening to the colorfully dressed men singing and chanting and the deep sound of the beating drum.  The sound was magical, calming to me, even as a child.  The fancy dancers would be walking around or dancing in their competitions – their costumes were amazing and perfectly made, the perfect lines of beads, fringe, feathers, shades of leather and suede.  To this day I still visit Pow Wows and watch the fancy dancers in awe of their costumes and incredible footwork. I enjoy walking from stand to stand, looking and perusing the handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, knick knacks, art, sculptures, and other items for sale from peoples of various tribes.
 


Wishing you a Very Blessed Thanksgiving!

From our table to yours, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love most.  This Thanksgiving, we kept things more simple than we usually do, as the kids have been sick, and I spent the majority of the day yesterday in the Emergency Room yesterday with flank pain from a passing kidney stone a kidney infection.  Nonetheless, I still wanted to put forth the effort and try to make Thanksgiving dinner for my family.

For our Thanksgiving Dinner this year, I made a spiral baked honey ham, creamy mashed potatoes, honey butter glazed carrots, brown sugar basted brussel sprouts, and homemade rolls.  For dessert, Jennifer made for the most part on her own a butterscotch cinnamon pie and vanilla frosted cupcakes.  Everything came out very yummy!  I was impressed, but my body was quite sore afterward.

That’s our table, all set, with our Thanks and Giving Tree in the middle.  I’ll be writing about this tree at the end of November when all the leaves are filled in!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

No One Else Does, But I Still Decorate for Fall!

Now that we’ve entered November, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, walk into any store and it’ll likely be dripping in holiday stuff, everywhere.  But, wait, not a drop of Fall, Autumn or Thanksgiving…unless of course, you’re in the clearance aisle.  But I’m a little confused…we’ve haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet!

That, and I see all these posts on Facebook about how we’re not actually skipping Thanksgiving and fall, but instead it’s all Christmas and holidays now until Turkey Day, then you get one day to celebrate autumn and Thanksgiving, and then phew… back to celebrating the  good ole holidays!

But wait! Autumn is such a beautiful time! And that’s just one of reasons I chose to decorate for fall…

And to me, autumn stands for:

Change!

The leaves on the trees are veritgradeof colors, changing from green to yellow to a luscious red and then falling to the ground into beautiful mounds beckoning children to jump and play in them.  The weather is changing, from the heat of the summer, cooling into more comfortable, crisp air, the smells cleaner, in preparation for winter.  Fall is a time of change.  As Heraclitus wrote “The constant is change,” and that is certain during fall.  It’s a time to remind us that everything is always changing, nothing is constant, and how essential it is to embrace the present and savor its goodness before it changes.

Comfort!

One of the best parts of fall – the crisp (but not cold) air and being able to wrap up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea.  It’s so comforting!  Maybe its part of our nature, in preparation for winter, to want to pull out the blankets and create a serene space in the home, but its one of my favorite things!

Balance!

Both day and night are the same period of time during the autumnal equinox, which ancient cultures associated with balance.  The sun also enters Libra, which is represented by a set of scales.  This is a great time to get in touch with mother Earth.