Last Sunday I learned some things concerning Thanksgiving—things that I’d never realized before, things that don’t have to do with how to prevent your turkey from drying out. I learned that back in the day, and I mean WAY back in the day, some of the most famous people in U.S. History issued proclamations concerning Thanksgiving.

Like William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth Colony (that’s where the Pilgrims lived for those who flunked history)—he proclaimed that all the Pilgrims on Thursday, November 29, 1623 would go listen to their pastor from 9am to 12pm and render thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings.

George Washington did the same thing in 1789—declaring that on Thursday, November 26, the people of the states would devote the day to the “great and glorious Being who is the author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

And in 1864, towards the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln appointed the last Thursday in November as a day, “to be observed by all my fellow citizens, wherever they may be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”

So based on all of that, answer me this. How in the world did we get here? How did we get to a place where Thanksgiving centers around turkey? How did we get to a place where Thanksgiving Day conversation consists of the men wondering why the Detroit Lions still play on Thanksgiving Day and the women talk about how they made that amazing side dish? What happened to actually giving thanks?

Remember when you were little and you’d trace your hand on brown construction paper and make a turkey out of it? Whenever we did that we were then told that we had to come up with five things that we were thankful for—one for each finger. (If you were missing a finger I suppose you just came up with one)? So what was on your list? Probably your mom, your dad, your favorite toy, maybe a grandparent, and your new kicks. Not too shabby of a list for a 7 year old—why do we lose that as we get older?

My take? We live in a shitty world. We live in a world riddled with crime, divorce, and disease. We live in a world whose economy is collapsing, a world where war and strife are inevitable. Those things affect all of us on some level—and obviously some of us more than others. Shouldn’t the fact that these things are so prevalent though, make us that much more thankful for the good things we DO have?

There are probably some people who could argue that they don’t have anything good—but you and I don’t fall into that category. First off, if you’re reading this you obviously have a computer or a smartphone—so things can’t be ALL bad. Secondly, if you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and running water—you’re doing better than about 90% of the world’s population.

I’m not asking you to give thanks to God, although I’m sure He’d appreciate that—I’m simply asking you to be thankful for something. Here. I’ll start. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful that I have people that love me and will always be there for me–God being one of them.

So this year, on Thanksgiving, maybe take more pause than you normally would. Maybe re-instill the tradition of going around the table and saying something you’re thankful for. You just may find that you have more to be thankful for than you originally thought. Or maybe you find that someone’s thankful for you. Regardless, don’t lose sight of this holiday in your tryptophan-induced coma, and know that the Lions winning isn’t something you can use when you go around the dinner table, probably because it won’t happen.

  1. wmarsau says:

    Great Blog! Somewhere along the way we lost the true meaning of what Thanksgiving is all about. Tomorrow I am going to make sure I take the time to praise God because he is the reason any of us are here. Thanks be to you God! I am but a humble servant of yours.

    • JILL FORD says:

      Stephanie… I love your blog! Very nice. Thanksgiving is a time of being “Thankful” for All that we do have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Love u dear! Jill

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