Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States of America every fourth Thursday of November. Looking into American history reveals the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation celebrated a harvest feast for 3 days in 1621. The feast was attended by settlers, who had arrived on the Mayflower, and Native Americans. The tradition continued, although not every year, mostly as a religious observance. Thanksgiving was celebrated nationally on and off after a proclamation by George Washington in 1789. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” during the American Civil War. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday annually since 1863.
The celebration of the holiday in modern times is most assuredly not close to what was experienced by those at Plymouth Plantation. Thanksgiving is now a day when Americans gather to watch football, feast and celebrate with family and/or friends. Turkey, usually roasted or deep-fried, is the traditional table fare along with stuffing, yams, potatoes, assorted vegetables, salads, cranberries, casseroles, and pies. It is not uncommon for Americans to overindulge their appetites during Thanksgiving.
Since 1920, the National Football League has traditionally played football on Thanksgiving.
With so much going on in our busy lives, we need a day to celebrate and give thanks to “Our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” If you are having a hard time this year being thankful, here are some suggestions you may want to consider:
Health-if you are not healthy then this will obviously not apply to you. Most people are healthy or relatively healthy, though, and that is a good reason to be thankful.
Family-if you are alone or not spending time with your family, I am sorry. Hopefully the memories you have of spending time with them will carry you through the holiday.
Work-yes, I wrote work! Even when your job is hard to do or frustrating, be thankful you have one. Not everyone does and many wish they did. Give thanks for the opportunity to do work that matters
Friends-these are the people with whom you may be closest. We do not say thank you enough to those we call our friends. Be thankful if you have them. If you do not, start looking. Someone else is probably looking for more friends, too.
Entertainment-music, literature, video, technology, dining, art, and etc…Be thankful you live in a time when all of these sources of entertainment are readily available for your amusement and pleasure.
Love-all of us have someone who loves them. It may be a family member, acquaintance, or friend. First and foremost, you have someone who loves you more deeply than anyone possibly could-our Creator. He sacrificed his own beloved son to prove his love to us all. Give thanks to him and the grace he bestows upon us each and every day.
I hope you can find a reason for celebrating Thanksgiving for there are many. I want to personally thank you for reading. Thank you for being someone who makes a difference. May God bless and be with you all!