Ah yes – a day of family, fellowship, and food – lots and lots of food!
But, have we forgotten the original intent of this very special day?
I have copied below the original proclamation of a national Thanksgiving Day written by George Washington. It's long – so I've highlighted the portions that I think are so very important:
"Proclamation of National Thanksgiving
City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have...requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God...
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection...for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence...for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed...for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations...to render our national government a blessing to all the people...and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord...as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."
The first Thanksgiving Day was not about family, fellowship, and food. It was all about our Almighty God, the Creator of everything, and the Giver of good blessings. The focus of thanksgiving was correctly aimed at the One who is responsible for everything we have – including our very lives.
The correct view of things is that this is a day to give thanks to God.
God to whom we owe our hearts. God who gave His Son as a sacrifice for us. God who loves us beyond measure. God who gives us abundance in this life, and a hope for life everlasting!
Family, fellowship, and food? Well, that's just added gravy! ☺
So, in every real sense, though Thanksgiving Day is set aside as a national holiday – and most people will have their focus on everything else BUT God – may we as believers remember why we have anything to be thankful for. It is because of God – all because of God.
We should have an attitude of thankfulness every single day of our lives.
So, dear brothers and sisters in Blog Land, have a wonderful day enjoying the bountiful blessings that come from a faithful and benevolent Lord.
Happy Thanksgiving Life!!
Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE - a bit of fellowship before the feast!
***(This next part is optional – just for fun!!)***
Here's some added trivia in case you need something to read while digesting the 10 pounds of food you just "stuffed" into your belly! (Or if you want to impress all those relatives with your scintillating knowledge of random and inconsequential facts. I've added a little commentary here and there to keep you awake):
Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. (The Pilgrims wore their best black and white. The Indians wore…well, next to nothing).
The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land. The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast. (Perhaps he really took to heart the words of Jesus – "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good…" – Matthew 5:44-45)
The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days. (Which is the average amount of time I sleep after my feast…)
Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast. (Actually, that sounds pretty good! Guess I better start putting out my lobster traps…)
The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. (In my family, this tradition often continues…)
More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Her letter to Abraham Lincoln finally persuaded him to issue a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on October 3, 1863, officially setting aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. (Notice that Sarah did not recommend eating any lamb on that day…)
In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season. (Wow, as if we need more days for that!)
Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday by passing a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year. (Was that the last time we were unified on anything in this country??)
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. (A bald turkey just isn't quite as majestic to me as a bald eagle… just sayin')
The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. (Which is about the average that I think I ate last year at the dinner table…)
The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog. (Good grief. Can you even imagine?! Great Dane? Nothing compared to a Great Turkey…)
A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. (Personally, I'm a dark meat fan – how about you?)
The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger. (I prefer not to serve any "leftover turkey" at my house. I usually just tell them to leave – "Uncle Joe, you turkey, you need to GO HOME NOW!")
Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef. (Didn't know that one…)
In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations. (Why do I always feel so sorry for the turkeys? Poor things. Delicious – but still...)
Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey. (Do any of you eat turkey on other occasions? Or do you inhale that 16-18 pounds in one sitting??)
Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States. (Doesn't surprise me – I've always thought my state was full of the most "turkeys" in the nation…)
Although Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada. (Hmmm…didn't know that one. Guess Canada has a lot to be thankful for, too!)
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. (And, incidentally, the beginning of the traditional nervous breakdown season, outrageous debt season, and road rage mania season that sweeps this country. Tranquilizer anyone?? *This isn't true – I made it up…*)
The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2010. (Maybe this has something to do with the beginning of the aforementioned road rage phenomenon…)
Cranberry production in the U.S. is expected to reach 750 million pounds in 2011. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states. (Gotta love cranberries – they're tart and tangy – just like me...)
Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states, together they produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2010. Total U.S. production was over 1.5 billion pounds. (Ever heard of the GNP? You thought it meant Gross National Product. Nope. Gourd National Product…)
The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2010. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi, and the top producing states together generated over 2.4 billion pounds of the tubers. (I can do sweet potatoes. Yams? Not so much…)
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust. (I don't care how big that thing was – I'm just not a fan of pumpkin pie. I think it's the texture or something. And don't even get me started on mincemeat pie. No, I'll take apple pie or some kind of berry pie instead, any day – in fact, why don't you slice me up a piece right now...)
So, why are you sleepy after a big turkey dinner? It's a combination of the type of food (carbs, fats, L-tryptophan), amount of food, and celebratory atmosphere. (Zzzzzzzz…)
HAVE A GREAT DAY, my friends!
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