why we give thanks



“Isn’t it peculiar how some traditions just seem to fade away?” – Lucy

 As my family watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but wax nostalgic for the way things were when I was growing up.  The Thanksgiving special and ‘This is America Charlie Brown’ that was on television tonight reminded me of when this country celebrated its founding and wasn’t so darn afraid of the tolerance police.

  When I was a child we would make the handprint turkeys, learn about the Mayflower and hear stories about the first Thanksgiving.

 Now, more and more people seem to want to turn Thanksgiving into a genocidal holiday; some taken to calling it the Day of Mourning. 

 Should We Rename Thanksgiving “National Ethnic Cleansing Day”?  The real origin of turkey day is a tale we’d rather not hear.

In this blog posting, the author writes about the second actual Thanksgiving as being a Puritanical celebration after committing a massacre on some of the native population.  I guess he was hoping we didn’t click on the link he provided, but when I did, I found that the ‘massacre’ was a conflict with a ‘war-like tribe’ and fought with Indian allies.  Sounds like a war that was instigated by both sides, rather than what the author of this story would like you to believe

 Last fall, the principal of KennedySchool in Somerville, Mass., banned the observance of all fall holidays.  “When we were young, we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples. We can no longer do so,” Foley wrote to teachers.

 This next story even managed to surprise me, and I don’t get easily surprised anymore.

 What Should America’s Children Be Taught About Thanksgiving? These People’s Answers Might Shock You

“…another woman said we should teach kindergarteners that Thanksgiving is “totally meaningless” and “we massacred millions and millions of Native Americans.” Ouch. That’s quite a heavy kindergarten lesson.”

 Even animal groups want to destroy the tradition of turkey.  The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ plan to fight against the meal’s headliner by placing billboards near schools in several Western cities, asking, “KIDS: If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey?”

 The truth is, Pilgrims feasted for three days in November 1621, celebrating their first successful harvest after landing at present-day Plymouth on the Mayflower in late 1620. On hand for the feast were 53 Pilgrims and 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe.

Read The History Channel’s story about Thanksgiving here:  http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving

 In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation by the national government of the United States.  In it he said,

 “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 and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

 He also said,

 “…to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

 Perhaps that is why certain elements are trying to besmirch Thanksgiving.  Because certain people do not want our government or our nation to be wise and just.  They do not want us to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations.  They want us to stop being a Superpower, to stop thinking that we’re different from other nations; to stop being the United States in all of our arrogance.

 Whether we like it or not, the world’s history is filled with stories of conquest.  Mexico was conquered by Spaniards, China was conquered by the Mongols, and Rome conquered just about everything at one time or another.  Our country was discovered and conquered.  Was it a pleasant takeover?  Not by any stretch of the imagination, but we don’t have to tarnish the whole idea of a country because of how it was started.  After all, I don’t hold a grudge because Spain overtook Mexico; in fact I have more Spaniard in me than anything else. 

Not only are we losing our traditions, but in an effort to conquer the holiday joy of being with family and remembering our blessings, the marketplace has staked their claim on Thanksgiving.

 Good Question: Thanksgiving Now – Will Stores Open Christmas Day Next?

Three years ago, virtually no stores were open on Thanksgiving Day. This year, Walmart, Sears, Kmart, and Toys ‘R’ Us will open at 8 p.m. Target will open an hour later at 9 p.m. 

Shopping Creep Endangering Thanksgiving Traditions

With the growing commercialization of Thanksgiving, some wonder if Americans have forgotten the basic reason for this holiday — to give thanks. A number of churches still hold services on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day, but shopping seems to be overwhelming the holiday.

 I personally will continue to pray for our nation.  Thanksgiving should be a day when our nation unites in a day of thanks-giving.  We need to get together with people we love, or serve people, in an effort to unite on our similarities, rather than our differences.  I will thank my Savior for His many blessings. 

 We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving because we have it better than the rest of the world.  We celebrate because we have been blessed as a nation, and we can share that blessing with our neighbor next door or across an ocean. 

I leave you with these words from Abraham Lincoln, when he established an official day set apart for the purpose of Thanksgiving:

 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God…

 And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.