In the beginning, Thanksgiving was meant to be a day for putting aside muskets, bows and arrows, and animosity between the white man and the red man. I was taught by the good sisters in Catholic grammar school that the two separate cultures sat at the dinner table together in good faith. They shared fowl and maize and various other treats, like mead and peace pipes. After the day was over, the Europeans who were new to America, went back to their savage ways and decimated the gentle American Indian population. This is plain and simply known as genocide.
I often wonder what the modern American Indian thinks about, when he hears the word "thanksgiving"? Does he put a teepee in front of the Walmart store after eating massive amounts of food, watching football, and drinking too much Wild Turkey bourbon? Maybe he camps overnight so he can get a great deal on a new HDTV set for his family on "black Friday". I don't think so.
I think that Thanksgiving should be a day, where people with more than they should have, give presents to people with less than they should have. Maybe we have the concept of this holiday all wrong. We over-eat, over-drink, over-spend, race for parking lot spaces, argue with each other, demonstrate rude behavior, and suffer from the hangovers of excess.
Of course, I thank the Great Spirit for this day. It is a day for reflection and gratitude. I just wish it was a day for giving, rather than what it has become.