Cindy Spencer Pape is an avid reader of romance, fantasy, mystery, and even more romance, she firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty-five years to her own, sometimes-kilted hero, she lives in southern
with him and two grown sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets. Author of more than 40 books, Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher, and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the male humans who share her household. Michigan
Thanksgiving is a holiday with a lot of history behind it in the
, but also a lot of history that’s just…wrong. I get a kick out of that in a way. It shows the organic change and development in a society. With a government that’s only a bit over 200 years old and made of a hodge-podge of cultures, it really is kind of fascinating when you ask a handful of people what Thanksgiving means to them and get a dozen different answers, United States
Almost any school kid knows that the “first” Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims and the friendly Native Americans after the first successful harvest back in 1621. That much is true—the
Plymouth settlers did have a feast with their new neighbors, but that was far from the first such celebration in the . The Spanish had been doing it for a while, as had the Americas settlers. In a deeply religious era, this should come as no surprise. Many harvest festivals and days of giving thanks occurred in all the years to follow, but it wasn’t universally acknowledged for centuries. Jamestown proclaimed one in 1789, and again in 1795. After that, it was a sporadic thing, not taking hold on a permanent basis until Washington ’s presidency in 1863. Lincoln
The meal, too has varied over the years, and might not and many of the foods that would have been there—turkey, quite possibly, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and corn are still staples of our holiday fare today. Venison—well, not quite so much, unless you’ve a hunter in the family. Oysters? Only if you’re in
New England, or put them in the stuffing. Eels? Lobster? Not so much. Potatoes hadn’t made their way up from Central America yet, and the custardy pumpkin pie wouldn’t come along for years. Thanksgiving traditions became largely regional, with large elements coming from whatever immigrant cultures made up a local population. The Thanksgiving dinner as we know it, really didn’t evolve until the twentieth century—helped along by Norman Rockwell and others who wanted to boost American morale and sense of community during the Depression and World War II.
Other traditions are even newer, but have become a vital part of the day. Football. Parades. The big gear-up for the Christmas shopping season. The religious origins of the holiday are important to some and not so much to others. Many see it as a day to get together and celebrate with family, others find time to relax with friends. Most folks I know agree that no matter your religious beliefs, it’s good to take a day once in a while to think about the positive things in life. While we all have our problems, taking one day to focus on the good can be a badly needed wake-up call.
My own Thanksgiving is low-key. My father will be here with a friend, but no other extended family, so it will just be a turkey dinner (cooked by my amazing husband) for six. There might be a parade, if I turn it on—the others will laugh. There might be football. There will be laughter and time spent together. And that’s all I need.
Thanksgiving romances aren’t all that common, but I’ve managed to sneak the holiday into a couple. One is my most recent release from Carina Press,
Wolf. Another is one of my first erotic romances, a ghost story co-written with author Lacey Thorn, called One Good Man. In the spirit of giving, I’d like to share a free download of whichever of these two books the winner prefers. All you have to do to enter is comment below. I’d love to hear about your own holiday traditions, and if you’re from outside the Motor City , what kind of autumn traditions do you practice? Wishing you all a great deal to be thankful for! US