Over the years I have noticed more and more that Christmas comes earlier and earlier and for some strange reason Halloween has become a major holiday.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as anyone. I love what it stands for and, more importantly, Who it stands for. I admit, there are no cheery Thanksgiving songs and it may not have cute reindeer decorations, but still, Thanksgiving deserves its day. Without Thanksgiving think of all we’d be missing, the food, family Christmas pictures, food, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, food, Football, and what would be do with Black Friday?
Did I mention food? I’m joking, kind of, I know there is more to Thanksgiving than food. Like Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas, here are my reasons for loving Thanksgiving…
Thanksgiving is not determined by gifts given, but by the many gifts we have received. It is a time to reflect and think and realize how very grateful we are for all that we have. It is measured by hearts overflowing and love shared around a table with family and friends. It is about traditions, those handed down and those being made. It is about us, the people of this country. This past Sunday in church, we were reminded of when Thanksgiving, officially, came to be.
It was made a national holiday in 1864, in the midst of our Civil War, by a Proclamation. A Proclamation by our President, Abraham Lincoln and here it is, lest we forget…
Proclamation 118 – Thanksgiving Day, 1864 – October 20, 1864
By the President of the United States of America
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford us to reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
I hope you all had a Very Blessed Thanksgiving with those you love…