Charles Dickens said that we are somewhat mixed up here in America. He told an audience that instead of having one Thanksgiving Day each year we should have 364. “Use that one day just for complaining and griping,” he said. “Use the other 364 days to thank God each day for the many blessings He has showered upon you.”
The Art of Thanksgiving
The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving. It is gratitude in action. It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly. It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good. It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you by doing things for others. It is thanking God for happiness by striving to make others happy. It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful. It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an inspiration to others. It is thanking God for health and strength by the care and respect you show your body.
The first New England Thanksgiving was celebrated less than a year after the Plymouth colonists had settled in the new land of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first dreadful winter in the colony had killed nearly half of its members. But new hope emerged in the summer of 1621 when the corn harvest brought rejoicing. Governor William Bradford decreed that a three-day feast be held beginning on December 13, 1621. Thus came about a Thanksgiving Day set aside for the special purpose of prayer as well as celebration. The custom of Thanksgiving Day spread from Plymouth to other new England colonies. During the Revolutionary War, eight special days of thanks were observed for victories and deliverance from perilous times. On November 26, 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation for a day of thanks. For many years there was no regular national Thanksgiving Day in the United States until President Lincoln in 1863 proclaimed the last Thursday in November as “A day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” As one studies early American history it becomes obvious that our early settlers and forefathers expressed their “thanksgiving” and their “gratitude” to God daily rather than once a year. As a nation we need to go back to the pilgrims’ fine art of gratitude toward God!
Harvest of the Heart at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the harvest of the heart After the fruit and grain are stored away. The quiet season of remembering, The moment when we pause to praise and pray.