Thanksgiving 2022 by Robin Densmore Fuson
What comes to mind when you hear the word Thanksgiving? The holiday? A turkey with all the fixings? A heartfelt response?
As children, in school, we are taught when and where the first Thanksgiving came about—a feast with people groups in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed a bill that the fourth Thursday in November would become Thanksgiving Day. Back in November 1789, President George Washington called for a day ‘for public thanksgiving and prayer.’ In 1868, President Lincoln encouraged Americans to reserve the last Thursday of November for thanksgiving.
In 1870 Congress passed legislation for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day to be national holidays. Each President could set the date for Thanksgiving and until Roosevelt changed it, it was typically held on the last Thursday of the month. Roosevelt moved it up to give more time for shopping for Christmas.
I used to find aisles of decorations for Thanksgiving. Over the years, the proportion of fall and Thanksgiving décor has dwindled. Why do you think that is? I see aisles upon aisles with Halloween stuff. Christmas things come out simultaneously with Halloween.
Money runs the space. They make millions from costumes and Christmas items but Thanksgiving doesn’t generate much revenue except for food.
Traditions are losing ground. I think there is a deeper issue.
Sure, people want the day off and some companies give Friday off as well. So the holiday remains. People shop on Friday and Monday after the event on the third Thursday of the month. Some families and individuals go out or cater the meal.
I wonder how many people take the time to say thanks. The special day began with giving thanks to God for a great crop. Each year people set-aside time to thank the Lord for the blessings received throughout the year. It was meant to be a time of reflection and prayer. Openly people gathered in the town square expressing thanks and prayer.
People seem to have lost the art of proclaiming thanks to their creator, sustainer, and benefactor of life. Is Thanksgiving just a day off? A day to relax? Do they gobble down the food or grab a plate and tune into football?
I love to hear of families still sitting down together for a large meal but first thanking the good Lord for the blessings He bestows. Our family prays before the meal and when things are winding down, we take turns going around the table, telling what we are thankful for. It’s sweet when a three-year-old says they are thankful for a toy, pie, or whatever makes them happy at that moment. As they mature, the thanks focus on important people, events, and accomplishments.
Those times around the table or in the gathering room are precious and bonding.
Thanksgiving. A time of heartfelt thanks to the Father who loves us more than we can imagine. The Father who loved us so much, He sent His only son to die for me, for you, for all mankind.
So this Thanksgiving, take a few moments and thank Him. Teach that to the children. Let’s keep the tradition going. Shouldn’t we do that every day?
Maybe we should start a personal tradition of making a list of the things we are thankful for.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. (Psalm 95:2 nlt)