Christian Author: Nancy W. Boyer

Is the American Thanksgiving Holiday…and giving thanks… going away?

boys watching woman prayingThanksgiving has always been a wonderful holiday for our family and friends.  It is not only about the turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and other good foods, but also about remembering how grateful we are to God for all our many blessings.   I was shocked when I went to some local stores and asked about Thanksgiving decorations.  I found one floor mat that said  “Give Thanks” and a few Fall colored place mats.   Two different, well-known stores said, ” We don’t order many Thanksgiving things because the public demand seems to be turning toward Halloween.”

The new special day is called “Black Friday”, when stores advertise great bargains and sales.  Even this is not enough for stores have now begun to open not only on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, but on Thursday, which is the day of Thanksgiving. Some people were asking “Why?!” Do employees not want to be with family on this national holiday?  The answer was that a few stores tried it and found that the public came…even if it was on Thanksgiving.

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I ask myself, “Are these examples of America turning away from God?”    Some even call Thanksgiving the “National Nap Day …along with a full belly and football.   Nothing wrong with tradition and a nap can be a great thing.  Gathering around the  TV to watch a football game has its place and is a great deal of fun to many families.

Stores that eliminate the theme of”Thanksgiving” in favor of Halloween is  difficult to understand…unless we look at everything from a monetary viewpoint. It could also say something about our present-day values in America.  This leads me to say to parents and family…”Put an emphasis on Thanksgiving….and before that first bite,  ask those around the table to give one thing that they are really thankful for.  Make it a real Thanksgiving meal.”  Otherwise, we may be moving our pumpkin pie into bags for the “trick or treat” kids.

Famous Thanksgiving painting by Norman Rockwell

Famous Thanksgiving painting by Norman Rockwell

From the National Library of Congress: Thanksgiving is for Americans to give thanks for the Fall harvest, good fortune and blessings from God. The idea of celebrating the harvest pre-dates the Pilgrims with origins that can be traced back to Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Even Native Americans annually celebrated their harvest long before Europeans or the Spanish ever arrived on the North American Continent. In America, we recognize the Pilgrim’s three day feast at Plymouth  in October of 1621 as the first Thanksgiving in the new world.

On September of 1863 Sarah Hale wrote to then President Abraham Lincoln, explaining that a “national feeling of Thanksgiving” would benefit the country in the midst of the Civil War. Hale wrote in part:”The influence of these state seasons of sacred remembrances, high aspirations, and tender . . . rejoicings would not only be salutary on the character of our own citizens, but the world would be made better . . . . If the germ of good feeling be ever so deeply buried under ‘the cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life,’ it may be brought out by sympathy and vivified by culture and effort.” Sarah Hale’s letter led President Lincoln to his October 3, 1863 proclamation that the last Thursday of November be Thanksgiving Day.    (Other Presidents tried to change the date causing some confusion.)  Congress introduced legislation, signed by President Roosevelt, that would establish the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, making it the last Thursday five out of every seven years. The legislation took effect in 1942 and would ensure that future presidential proclamations could not impact the scheduling of the holiday.
 

We at Boyer Writes pray for a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  Enjoy the football, nap, the food and remember to give thanks to the One Who has showered us with many blessings.  

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2 responses

  1. Chuluunbaatar Chunsraikhachin

    How are you? Dear brother Bill and sister Nancy,
    I am Chuba. Please leave me message.

    Like

    November 20, 2013 at 14:20

    • We are both doing fine. Hope your family is doing well also. Would love to see you again if you come to the USA. Blessings. Nancy and Bill

      Like

      November 20, 2013 at 22:49