I hope you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving in the midst of the Civil War. Since 1939, the fourth Thursday in November has been designated as that goes far beyond parades, football and holiday shopping deals.
Of course, we realize that the roots of Thanksgiving goes mush further back. From our earliest days in grade school we associated Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and their 1621 feast which lasted three days and consisted of fish, shellfish, fowl, venison, berried, fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, corn and squash. Even in the midst of hardship those that had survived a difficult first year in the new world were thankful for what they had.
Much more recently, in 1973, we were provided a new perspective on this day with the arrival of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” If you remember, Peppermint Patty calls and invites herself and her friends Marcie and Franklin over to “Chuck’s” house for a holiday dinner. With the help of Linus and Snoopy, Charlie Brown makes quick preparations. As the guests arrive they all directed to the backyard ping-pong table where their feast awaits. Linus leads the group in prayer, and Snoopy serves up the food, throwing the plates to each guest Frisbee-style. Each person receives two slices of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, a handful of popcorn, and some jelly beans. The guests think this odd at first, but they decide in the end they are thankful for what they have.
Today we use modern ovens, rosters, smokers, fryers and microwaves to quickly and efficiently prepare turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, vegetables, pumpkin and pecan pie. Many items are purchased at the nearby grocery at the last-minute as we ponder how we will survive the few hours the grocery might be closed on Thanksgiving Day. There is a morning’s worth of parades (which really aren’t even parades any longer) followed by the NFL treating us to the Detroit Lions who, for a change this year, are not one of the biggest turkeys in the league, the Dallas Cowboys and one more Thursday Night game. The next day offers “Black Friday” where apparently all thankfulness and civility is quickly discarded in an effort to wrestle door-buster specials away from anyone who dares to get in our way. Saturday delivers a slew of college football rivalry games including Ohio State & “that school up north.”
In the midst of all the frantic activity of this long weekend, can we pause for at least a moment to ponder at least one thing we are thankful for? This week, this day, take a few moments and reflect on what those Pilgrims went though, on what Abraham Lincoln called the country to,yes even what Charlie Brown reminded us of – take more than a moment to be Thankful for all the goods things.
Thought for the Week
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy