As obvious as this question may seem to some people, there are just as many people who would ask, "Well, why don't Australians get, or give for that matter, goodie baskets at Thanksgiving time?"
In order to shed some light on this subject, I am reminded of a story when my daughter was 8 years old and one of her friends' father asked if Australians celebrated Thanksgiving. After replying with an emphatic "no" (where I could just hear the unspoken "Duh" at the end); the Dad asked her, "Well, why not?" The indignation in her voice was evident, as with hands on her hips, she retorted; "the pilgrims didnâ€™t live in Australia, now did they?!"
As a native Australian, I think it would be nice to have another reason to get/give goodie baskets, but even more than that, I like the premise behind Thanksgiving. It may have started out as a yearly commemoration of the "First Thanksgiving," which might be the very first record of goodie baskets being presented, where a cornucopia was filled to the brim of bountiful fruits and vegetables from the harvest, ready to be shared.
However, I think that Thanksgiving has evolved into much more than that today and has become a day to reflect on the bounteous reasons we have to be thankful. We can be thankful for our families, our homes, the free country we live in and the favorable circumstances that surround where we live in here in the United States. Third world country conditions are far removed from what we experience, even with the economic situations that currently exist here.
Many people have developed traditions to keep track of their blessings, one family I know has an actual "thankful" goodie basket which happens to be a cornucopia, and during the month of November, they write down on paper all the goodies they are thankful for, and on Thanksgiving Day, they read them out loud to each other. My mother-in-law made a turkey that we hang on the wall and we write down on his feathers things we are thankful for until his tail is full of feathers.
There are many different ways of reflecting and demonstrating thankfulness, but more importantly, is that we actually take the time to become aware of what we "do" have instead of focusing on what we "do not" have. From this attitude, will come peace of mind and a realization that we can give so much more to those less fortunate than ourselves. The First Thanksgiving was about helping others and sharing the "goodies" with those less fortunate.
For this reason I would like to see Australia integrate "Thanksgiving" into their culture, just as Canada celebrates their own Thanksgiving which is celebrated in October and began as a feast of thankfulness for the safe return of an explorer from a long journey. So whether you are the giver or the receiver of goodie baskets this Thanksgiving, be sure and remember to fill your thankful goodie baskets as well! Happy Thanksgiving to all!