A Perfectly Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving illustration family 1949

The Thanksgiving table is as laden with myths as it is with stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Immortalized in countless mid-century illustrations done by some of the country’s most esteemed illustrators, these indelible images have served up a mouth-watering,  idealized version of that most American of holidays.

vintage illustration family Thanksgiving

Set in a gracious house the traditional meal anchored by a burnished turkey is flawless and faultless.

The table large enough to accommodate all the guests is gleaming with silver, fine bone china. The snowy damask cloth is always pristine with nary a drop of spilled gravy or wine to blemish its perfection, not unlike the smiling unblemished white family that surround the mahogany dining room table.

Thanksgiving Dinner Vintage Illustration

Thanksgiving Day and the feast are nationalistic myths created to provide a past that never was and to create a shared national identity.

As long as you were white, middle class and Christian. In a country loaded with choices the typical American family was truly limited to one.

In reality, our Thanksgivings are messier and more diversified and that is something we all can be truly gratefult for.

Though we may fall short of the romanticized vision of Thanksgiving feast, where conflict, burned Brussel sprouts and undercooked turkey never exists, my wish for all of you is to have for a perfectly wonderful Thanksgiving, no matter how imperfect it may be.

 

 

 

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