By VIRGINIA GIORGIS
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a federal holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November, which falls on Nov. 22 this year.
Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,"
The event that some Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. The first Thanksgiving was originally—and still is—about giving thanks to God for his bountiful blessings. The feast lasted three days, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.
Among the first American settlers, the Pilgrims were faithful to give God thanks. Pilgrim Edward Winslow expressed their gratitude in the fall of 1621, "God be praised, we had a good increase of corn ... by the goodness of God, we are far from want." Winslow also records, "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling (turkey hunting), so that we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors"
This tradition of given thanks has been handed down through the generations. For many Americans today, Thanksgiving is synonymously called turkey day because of the turkey dinners traditionally cooked for the day. The day has evolved into a day of celebrating family and being thankful for family and friends.
However, the big box stores are even more intense this year on getting in someone’s pocket on Black Friday, a major start of the mind-boggling buying that now extends through the Christmas season. Black Friday is no longer Friday, but has been moved up the 8 and 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night by the big boxes such as Walmart and Target. When seeing on TV the mass frenzy caused by these stores, people getting ran over, pushed and tromped to the ground by the enemy shoppers, I often wonder, “And, we claim to be civilized?” No one better try to grab that perfect ipad from my hand…or they may be missing a hand!
That, in my idea, isn’t what Thanksgiving is all about. I view Thanksgiving as a day for family and friends, a day to enjoy the simple things of life – good food, good company, and things like snowmobiling, sledding, games, movies, football and the treasures life has given us.
An idea to celebrate Thanksgiving and every day is to be aware every day is a great day. If you have any doubts, try missing one. Take inventory of everything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that is good in your life.
Hope your Thanksgiving is as good to you as mine is going to be to me.
For the complete article see the 11-16-2012 issue.
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