1621 marked the first Thanksgiving celebration and feast shared by the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians. President Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving would be held each November and a national holiday in 1863.
The first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the Pilgrims’first successful corn harvest. It is said they invited their Native American allies to this celebration as “thank you” for teaching the colonists how to successfully live and survive in the new world.
I remember as child Thanksgiving Day was spent with family and friends. We would talk about what we have done, what we want to do, and reminisce. The Macy’s Day parade would be on the TV. Around lunch and thereafter the men would turn on whatever football game was scheduled. The children would be asked about their Christmas lists and if their letters were sent to Santa. We would take the time to talk about what we are thankful for. We would play games.
At some point throughout the day, the talk would casually move on to Christmas shopping, Black Friday deals, and who was going where to shop. The day was filled with family, food, fun, and love.
Thansgiving Day has been taken over by the corporate world and the focus of Thanksgiving is now earlybird deals, savings, etc. A lot of people who are working in the retail industry are no longer able to spend time with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. They are forced to give up the holiday and give up precious time with their family, who they might only be able to see a few times per year, in order to work to support the corporate greed and the greed of the people who support early Black Friday shopping.
Family time is given up by those who are forced to work. Family time is freely given up by those who choose to shop on Thanksgiving Day. Conversations no longer focus on family, thankfulness, and memories. Conversations are now focused on what deals are where, who is going where, and what we are going to be doing Thanksgiving night and all day Black Friday.
Philippians 1:9-11 (ERV) reads: “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.”
Let us all remember, embrace, and demonstrate the TRUE meaning of Thanksgiving and the coming Christmas season. Thanksgiving Day has lost its meaning and has simply become a “kick-off to the Christmas shopping season.” Let us take today (what’s left of it) and celebrate what we are thankful for, tell the people we know and love that we are thankful for them. Count your blessings on this and everyday.
Let us remember the TRUE meaning of the Christmas season: the celebrate of Jesus’ birth.
Let us demonstrate the love and meaning of the holidays to your children, family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Remeber to be kind.
I hope you all accept my challenge to do at least one act of kindness this weekend and continue the acts of kindness throughout this holiday season. Most people will be scrambling to get the best deals, the lowest prices, and the hottest toys. Remember what is important this season and every season and continue to choose that.
What I am thankful for:
- Food in my belly
- A warm place to sleep
- My God who decided I am worth saving
- And so many more things in my life!