Thanksgiving… It’s True Meaning.
Many of us think of Thanksgiving as a wonderful time to celebrate getting out of school for a long weekend, eating a great dinner, and the start of the Christmas holiday season – Black Friday shopping at retail stores.
I wonder, however, how many of us are aware of the origin of Thanksgiving. What is its true meaning?
It all began in 1623 when Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony proclaimed, “All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.”
Many years later, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared by Act of Congress an annual National Day of Thanksgiving “on the last Thursday of November,as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
With this condensed history lesson over, let’s talk about the meaning of word…thanksgiving. To me it’s the act of acknowledging goodness. It’s a simple prayer to God for the blessings He has bestowed on me and my family.
I hope that as you celebrate this special holiday, you will take the time to count your blessings be they large or small – that you retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers, and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that we owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday but also the concepts of self-government, the ethic of hard-work, self-reliant communities, and devout religious faith.
- The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote. This masterpiece short story, published in 1967, was inspired by Capote’s childhood in rural Alabama in the 1930’s. It’s a story about the lessons his elderly eccentric cousin taught him. It is about all we should cherish and be thankful for – the gifts of love and friendship.
- Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well by Sam Sifton. The author is a former restaurant critic for The New York Times and in this book he details recipes for cooking the perfect turkey (as well as all the other classic Thanksgiving side dishes), and gives tips on how to set the table and the right way to divvy up leftovers.
- I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pieby Alison Jackson, Judy Schachner (Illustrator)
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas