Americans traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing similar meals to this: a turkey, cranberries, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, yams, beets, bread, a green salad, a fruit salad and pumpkin pie.
Our family doesn’t always stick to tradition. Whatever we prepare is delicious and special, like the lasagna pictured above.
With so much focus on food, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of the holiday. Giving Thanks.
Like all American kids, I learned the history of Thanksgiving in school. It is a long and rich history beginning with Native Americans. It was a time to give thanks for successful harvests and other blessings.
Pilgrims and Puritans celebrated Thanksgiving, too. Along the way, Presidents George Washington, John Adams and James Madison designated days throughout the year to give thanks.
Thanksgiving was finally instituted as a national celebration after several groups campaigned to make it so.
Sarah Josepha Hale (who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb”), the authoritative and powerful editor of a popular women’s magazine, began campaigning in 1827 to have Thanksgiving instated as a national holiday.
After petitioning several presidents, she finally succeeded in 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed a “National day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
I am thankful that I can give thanks anytime and everyday. In the best and worst of times, there is always something to be thankful for.
What if we replaced our complaints with thanks?!
Just imagine the power of millions of thankful hearts aligned and beating in unison.
May this holiday and new year, to come, be one of Thankfulness and many blessings in return!