According to “” Thanksgiving was never about football, shopping, and complaining about Christmas music on the radio….

Meaning of Thanksgiving – The Real Celebration
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities. The “first Thanksgiving,” however, was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the lost of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance.
Apparently the holiday has always been about food.  Not how can we impress the new mother-in-law with our spectacular table and spread, or what exotic dish can I take to the office luncheon?  First Thanksgiving cropped_0
It has always been about food.
With memories of those who died due a lack thereof still swirling in their heads the earliest celebrants sat down to a meal.  Grateful.
Grateful for the meal.
Grateful for life.
Grateful for their newly found friends.
Sometimes I feel like we miss the gratefulness.
There is an abundance of greediness, gluttony, and revelry.
But all too often not much in the way of gratefulness.
The past few years I find myself thinking about the children I have met in the Amazon during the holiday season.  They live in houses our garages and outdoor sheds put to shame.  They live a day to day existence in terms of food.  If they can grow it or catch it they are fed.   If not……
They have clothes.  Perhaps three or four outfits.  Here in the U.S. we give away literally thousands of clothing articles to Goodwill and other charities.
  • I’m grateful.  I have food.  I drive by more food daily than many in the world see in a lifetime.
  • I’m grateful.  I have clothes.  Way too many clothes.
  • I’m grateful.  I have medicine.  Despite recent frustrations in and to the system — medical care is readily available.  Immediate care is less then 5 minutes from my front door.  Quality hospitals an easy 15 minute drive.
  • I’m grateful.  I can get in my car and freely go anywhere in the country without a government permit or travel papers.  An airplane ticket takes me anywhere I can afford.

Is it any wonder that most of world’s people consider us in America as rich?

We all know it.  We all have heard it.  Some of us have even said it. 

Be Grateful this weekend.  Before the Food, Football, and Falling asleep on the couch. 

Be Grateful.   Thank God.  Hug your kids.  Kiss your wife.  Pet the dog.  Take a moment and realize how rich you really are…….

Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

  • To gather in unity – It is refreshing and invigorating when people come together, in celebration of a common purpose. It is a reconciliation of differences as well as a time of healing. In sharing our victories as well as our struggles, we find strength and hope.
  • To teach the young – In stories retold, each generation brings purpose and significance to the richness of their heritage. Faded pictures, sentimental knick-knacks, even the prayer of Thanksgiving before the meal all form a Thanksgiving family legacy.
  • To prepare the heart – In gratitude, we humbly reflect upon all the gifts (family, friends, health) that saturate our lives. By “giving-thanks” we choose to extend ourselves and give to others less fortunate. Out of the abundance of our hearts, we are able to offer our resources to help others.


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