Independent MAMAS


“thanks·giv·ing: the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God; an expression of thanks, especially to God; a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness;  a day set apart for giving thanks to God.”  

I’m looking forward to another Thanksgiving Day. But I also want to think of the “first” thanksgiving in 1621, when the colonists and the Indians (as they were called at that time) got together for a festive feast.  They didn’t have much and what they had they either grew themselves or went hunting for it with a gun.  So different from today.  We will pick everything up at the grocery store and take it to our warm and cozy homes.  Or,  in some cases, the store will have it all prepared and all we have to do is serve it!!  How blessed we are!!

Here is some of what happened on the journey to our present day Thanksgiving:

1620 ~ The Mayflower arrived with “an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World.”

1621 ~ The colonists and Indians had a feast which we now remember as the first Thanksgiving.

1623 ~ The Pilgrims had their second Thanksgiving celebration.

1789 ~ George Washington called for Americans to express their gratitude for the ending of the war of independence and also for the approval of the United States Constitution.  This was the first Thanksgiving proclamation.

1817 ~ New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday.

1827 ~ Author, Sarah Josepha Hale, began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

1863 ~ Her campaign lasted 36 years until Abraham Lincoln finally “heeded her request in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to ‘commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife’ and to ‘heal the wounds of the nation.’ He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year.”

1939 ~ “Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. (www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving)

With a thankful heart comes contentment.  One of the colonists, Edward Winslow, helped the people understand that by writing the following:  “And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us [when we were back in England], yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you [our English brethren] partakers of our plenty.”  (www.answers.com/topic/thanksgiving-day

We’ve come a long way since that sparse existence so many years ago.  However, Thanksgiving Day does not evolve around the religious significance it had in those first early days when people were simply thankful to be alive and to have food to eat.

Parades, family, friends, football, and food!  That’s what usually comes to our minds now!  In the mist of all that though, we can still be mindful of all of our blessings no matter how big or small.

My very favorite part of Thanksgiving is standing in a large circle with my family and friends, holding hands, and thanking God for our blessings.  Thanks to Oprah, I keep an attitude of gratitude journal.  This keeps me in a mode of thanksgiving everyday of the year.  Today I am grateful for:

  • A humble home, for many have no homes at all
  • A loving family, for some have no family or a family that does not love them
  • Friends who love me unconditionally, for there are those who have no friends
  • A husband who chooses to have an equal and loving relationship, for there are some who have no husbands or wish they didn’t have the one they have
  • Children who live their lives with integrity and teach their children true values and principles that will guide them throughout their lives, for a number of others are not so fortunate
  • My small town in middle America where there is almost zero crime, for there are those who live in fear of all kinds of crimes every day and night
  • The privilege of living in a free country, for there are multitudes who are not free.

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving season full of all the blessings you deserve,

Granny La Te Da

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