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The Fatherly Podcast Episode 19: An Overflowing Gravy Boat of Lies

The Fatherly Podcast explores what it means to celebrate Thanksgiving and the (small) virtue of lying to kids about history.

It’s the holiday season again and that means it’s time to take the turkey out of the oven and lie to our children about the first Thanksgiving. To celebrate the season (and episode 19), Fatherly Podcast host Joshua David Stein calls up historian Tracy Wilson, host of the excellent podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class from iHeartRadio, to talk about the big and very unfun Pilgrim party at Plymouth Plantation. And it’s not all good news. As it turns out there wasn’t too much camaraderie between the Native Americans and their future killers and probably no turkeys at all. Such is life. Tracy provides Joshua with some council on what to tell his kids about the significance of a holiday that celebrates an event that Abraham Lincoln heavily fictionalized for the sake of political rhetoric. TL;DR: Don’t be totally honest.

Still not totally satisfied, Joshua reaches out to David Weeden, tribal historian of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, to ask about how a Native American father celebrates the holiday. Weeden explains that his kids know the truth about Thanksgiving but that his family doesn’t entirely ignore the holiday because there is still — so many atrocities later — much for which he is thankful. It’s an object lesson in long-sightedness and Joshua leaves the conversation with a new sense of what it means to celebrate a complicated holiday.