"Gathering is more about sharing. The individual traditions that are created add to the larger tradition. There is a feeling of participation in the greater human experience."~ John Sherry, University of Notre Dame
Thanksgiving is, of course, a celebration of harvest, a symbol of friendship and a time for families to come together. Unless you can't stand your family. Be that as it may, the holiday has an interesting history, one that has now developed into a three-state dispute over which one hosted the first Thanksgiving. The feast's origins are commonly traced to the Pilgrim gathering at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. But interestingly, some sources point to similar feasts held in places like Virginia or even Spanish Florida.
A couple of centuries later, in addition to family feasts, Thanksgiving is celebrated with parades (New York City, Detroit), cultural festivals (Milwaukee, New Mexico) and "Turkey Trot" road races (Nevada, Seattle). It's also recognized as the start of the Winter holiday season, so there are plenty of light shows (Oklahoma, Phoenix), homages to Christmas (Mississippi, North Dakota) and Black Friday sales (Iowa, Pennsylvania).
More recently this is the season of serving our fellow man. VolunteerMatch.Org is a great repository of events across the country that provide opportunities during the holidays and all year to volunteer and serve others. Link: United States Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities
Click on the link to learn more about how and where you can volunteer this holiday -- and make Thanksgiving better for someone else. Also, learn more about what other fun activities are happening in your area. (Note: Most organizations prefer that you call in advance to officially register as a volunteer rather than just showing up.)
Direct Link: Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities