This week is known as a big week for food. Thanksgiving. When you think of Thanksgiving, do you think of turkey, Pilgrims in funny hats, Christmas shopping and football games? The true spirit of Thanksgiving can get lost among everything else.
A lot of us were taught that the first Thanksgiving in the new world was celebrated by the Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower and landed in what they called Plymouth Harbor.
The truth is: more than half of the Pilgrims did not survive that first winter 1620-21, due to the harsh weather and lack of nutrition. They were not the first to struggle.
The local natives, encouraged by an English speaker named Tisquantum, or “Squanto,” taught the colony how to plant and grow corn, how to fish and how to trap Beaver. The harvest of 1621 that came just before winter was much more bountiful than they had hoped for that year. They decided to have a feast that would last three days to celebrate. They invited the Pokanokets, a local tribe to join them. There were ninety Pokanokets, fifty-three Pilgrims in attendance at the the Thanksgiving of 1621.
It was not the first Thanksgiving in the new world. There were other colonies and settlements that had celebrated the fall harvest with a festival for many years before the Mayflower arrived. They also had them every year in Europe to celebrate the harvest.
The first national proclamation in the United States for Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777. Later, in December of 1777, General George Washington also declared a day of Thanksgiving after defeating the British at Saratoga.
President Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be held on the last Thursday in November.
Finally, in 1942, the US Congress declared Thanksgiving to be held on the fourth Thursday in November and they made it a holiday.
Thanksgiving is not about turkey, pie and football. It is a time to give thanks for everything that we were blessed with during the past year.
It is a celebration of all that we have been blessed with in this country and in our lives. It is a time to spend with family and those close to us.
What do you have to be thankful for? Even if you had some rough times or just plain bad times, you are still here and you have things to be thankful for.
This Thanksgiving I have a lot more to be thankful for than I ever thought possible. Even the bad times this year I can say helped me grow.
I am healthy, I have the gift of words and freedom to express my feelings. I live in a beautiful country.
I am blessed with opportunities to encourage many people that I meet to live a healthy lifestyle. I have the love of my wife.
I thank God, for being both creator and provider.
People may want to rewrite history, but the real truth is that this is a holiday where we thank the Lord. And make no mistake, our Founding Fathers believed it too!
The Continental congress wrote.
“Commanding the observation of THURSDAY the TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY OF NOVEMBER next as a day of SOLEMN THANKSGIVING to GOD for all His mercies; and they do further recommend to all ranks to testify their gratitude to God for His goodness by a cheerful obedience to His laws and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.”
President Lincoln wrote.
“Set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;