I grew up, like most American kids born in the 70s, with a fairly mythological teaching of the first Thanksgiving. We heard about the Native Americans and the Pilgrims sitting down to a large meal and enjoying their time together-- rather than the truth of where American Thanksgiving began. Like many other holidays, the roots of a celebration sometimes start quite differently than what today's modern version of the holiday looks like.
As a parent, it's important to me that I do not pass along the fictitious Thanksgiving story. This article, provided by the Manataka American Indian Council, provides a very good 'story' of Thanksgiving that more accurately shares our history.* However, please be warned that this may be a difficult read for anyone with fond memories of making feathered head dresses and pilgrim hats in school.
So, while my memories of school lessons involving a friendly meal shared at Plymouth Rock are a thing of past generations. I move forward, with a stronger knowledge of history, and continuing to honor a day set aside to recognize all we have to be thankful for.
*Note: The linked article is divided into three parts-- the first is a graphic telling of the first Thanksgiving, the second is an introduction of the topic for teachers and the third is a suggested retelling of the Plymouth Thanksgiving story that is more representative of actual history.