So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving
I don’t know if there is a way to go back –- a way to return to the simpler life. A time removed from the anger and strife of today’s world.
A day when being together with other folks, family and friends over a steaming cup of coffee and slice of pumpkin pie could warm the soul and blend our hearts as one. If there is a way to go back in time, Thanksgiving Day is that day.
One of the happiest days for my twin brother, Earl and I when we were little kids was Thanksgiving Day. With a family of five children, Mom and Dad, lovely Grandma, and guests, seldom were there such things as “dibs” for certain foods, although there was one exception.
Dad stood at the head of the table carving what looked like the biggest, juiciest, brown-skinned turkey-bird I’d ever seen.
When Dad announced, “The drumsticks belong to the twins,” Earl nudged me and whispered, “We get the best part.”
Boy, did we ever feel special!
And so it was that through my eyes, as a small child, Thanksgiving Day was the day to thank God for a turkey leg and all of those yummy, fluffy mashed potatoes.
When relatives arrived, aunts, uncles, cousins, all laughing and happily promising to get together more often, the house was crowded and noisy. Yet the warmth of caring and family affection felt like one giant hug.
Mother could always find another plate in the cupboard and food to fill it for unexpected folks. She was a true practitioner of the Holy Bible Scripture:
“Such as you do unto the least of these my children you do it unto me.”
She taught a high standard of values to live by.
Though the Pilgrims and Indians held the first celebration of Thanksgiving it was not until Nov. 1, 1782 when the Continental Congress Thanksgiving Proclamation was written that the holiday became official.
It read in part; ..“Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday the twenty-eight day of November as a day of solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”
George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation read in part, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:’
“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next …..”
And so it was that the slow grinding wheels of government formalized a practice of Thanksgiving started as early as 1621 by leaders of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indian Tribe in what is now the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
History questioned if the Pilgrims would have survived beyond that first year had it not been that the Indians taught them how to feed themselves. The day of the first feast was to celebrate and share the bounty of that food and friendship. Today it’s doubtful there is much, if any, physical resemblance in the way we celebrate Thanksgiving. Yet it remains true that gathering together renews people’s strength and replenishes the soul.
At my home this year there’ll be laughter of children telling Grandma new “Knock, Knock” jokes. Thanksgiving Day brings warmth of family together celebrating life and love.
I recall one community Thanksgiving dinner for the look of love and hope on the face of a young woman and her husband who told me they were bursting with joy because a baby girl is expected in March.
I remember raising my own babies and am thankful for the amazing adults they have become. I’m thankful for many blessings health, family, friends and you readers.
Let’s give thanks for a safe and warm home, a city where we’re proud to live and our pets that give us joy.
Make this Thanksgiving a favorite; Keep happy thoughts, do kind deeds, help an elder, hug a child, applauded a teen, hug your special people and let them know they matter.
Let’s live for a simpler today, pray for tomorrow and thank the good Lord for our United States of America.
Today’s Thought: Happiness is a byproduct of making someone else happy.