Thursday, November 25th, 2021, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of us think of this holiday as being strictly American, having its beginning with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1621 when it was shared with the Wampanoag Native Americans. In fact, historians suggest it has its roots in a category of festivals that span cultures, continents, and millennia. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. It has also been noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of celebrating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores. In fact, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival well before the appearance of the Pilgrims. On December 4th, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
As Americans, we have continued the tradition established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln in a proclamation for a celebration for the final Thursday in November. Many credit Franklin Roosevelt with this holiday, but he only attempted to move the holiday up a week in an effort to spur retail sales during the Great Depression in 1939. Roosevelt’s plan met with such opposition that he reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November, where it has remained ever since. Even in the early celebrations, fall and harvest were equated with heavy-duty house cleaning in preparation for closing the house up for winter. Women and children drug mattresses and rugs outside to air and beat to remove the dust. Windows were washed, floors were scrubbed. Garden produce was canned or stored in a cellar for consumption later.
Regardless of its origins, Thanksgiving is still widely celebrated. In many American households, the Thanksgiving occasion has lost much of its original religious significance, centering now on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey has become almost synonymous with the holiday despite the fact that the Pilgrims fasted for a period before their feast which probably included things like lobster, seal, and swans. There were no parades or football games or Black Friday sales. What has not been lost is the gathering together of families and friends.
You may be celebrating with family, at home, or somewhere else, but take heart. You will not have to drag the carpets and bedding outside or beat it to get the dust out. Let ACS – Affordable Cleaning Services help you with your preparations or cleaning up afterwards. Modern conveniences may make it easier to keep our homes spotless all year long, but we still may feel the need for a little extra polishing with guests coming. Whether you need help before company comes to give your house that “Mom’s coming to town” clean, or you need to restore order after the kids have been here to visit, our team can help you. We can clean the oven and the fridge, put a shine on the bathrooms, make sure the windowsills are free of bugs and dust, or do the routine vacuuming, dusting, and mopping so that you can take some time off. If the extra traffic leaves your carpets looking dingy, we can clean them too, so you are ready to put up the tree and get ready to celebrate Christmas. No matter what your Thanksgiving traditions are, let us be part of a new tradition. Let ACS clean be what you look forward to as a holiday preparation routine.