Our View: Don’t lose sight of the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday | VailDaily.com

Our View: Don’t lose sight of the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Our View

It's easy to give short shrift to holidays if you live in a resort community. With our attention on guests arriving (or not) and staying (or not), it can be easy to forget the significance of what we're celebrating. So let's all take a moment or few this week to ponder the meaning of Thanksgiving, perhaps the most American of holidays.

It's easy to get grumpy about travel, cooking, shopping or a host of other not-terribly-significant problems between now and the end of the year.

But please, at least this week, take a moment for a deep breath and a bit of reflection on what Thanksgiving implies.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Puritan settlers of the Plymouth Colony, of course. Those devout settlers held a traditional English harvest festival after their first growing season in Massachusetts. The feast took on more significance since about half of the 102 original settlers died in that first winter from either starvation or disease.

After that first celebration — about 240 years later — a federal holiday was created in 1863. That holiday was set forth by President Abraham Lincoln, who declared the fourth Thursday of November as a national day of celebration and praise. The nation, then embroiled in the horror of the Civil War, needed a little celebration at the time.

While Thanksgiving's roots are firmly rooted in religious celebration, anyone can spare a moment this week for a bit of thanks — whether to the almighty, the fates or simple random chance — for the good things in their lives.

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Here in the Vail Valley, above all else, we get to live here. We live in a beautiful place, and we're relatively immune from the violence — or just the daily absurdities — of much of the rest of the world.

We have the honor of playing host to people from around the world, all of whom gather here for their own good times. We're fortunate to be able to welcome them. Having at least a bit of snow right now makes that welcome a little more hearty.

Look around your life. There are things — at work, at home or just in the world around us — that are aggravating, annoying or difficult. But take a deep breath and look a little harder. Whether it's the orange glow coming off the Gore Range in the moments before dawn or the joy in the face of a child who just made a first real turn on skis or a snowboard, there will be something in your day today that will make you pause and say, "wow."

Savor those moments, and be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.