… Somewhere ^UP^ There God watches as the United States of America is slowly but surely becoming alarmingly unthankful…
Not long after the Halloween pumpkin candles are extinguished and our children guard their sweet-stash with their lives, the Christmas holiday emerges earlier and earlier each year. Like a premature snowball rolling downhill, “here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down [fill in the blank] lane”.
Never mind that December 25th is a annual holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In this case, Santa Claus and his reindeer run over both Grandma and the Son of God.
Another victim of the Christmas season is the foundational act of gratitude, or the purpose of this article, Thanksgiving.
Drive – Macy’s Parade – Football – Turkey – Mall Shopping – Nap
You can shuffle the order of the above verbs/nouns/activities to suit your own situation.
Feel free to add your own.
Granted… Thanksgiving is still universally celebrated, but more in the line of an excuse for a long weekend and mini-family reunions. My real beef is with the lack of thank you(s) for the provider of our bountiful lives. Thanksgiving was never intended to be a speed-bump on the way to Christmas; a door-busting deal-of-the-day credit card assault on the closest mall.
But it is.
[To the faithful reader of Writing Is Fun-damental: feel free to include some of what the 1st Pilgrims to America celebrated after the fall harvest… before the coming winter… a huge thank you to a God who provides and protects.]
WIF is a globally consumed blog, so this scolding is aimed squarely at The United States of America. For my peeps in Germany, Japan, India Uganda, Australia and the United Kingdom… you know who you are… don’t take offense to this chastisement.
Americans are an arrogant sort, me included. We think the world revolves around us.
Heck, about .002% of us citizen-Americans even bother to be bilingual. It’s the King’s English, or some form of it, or nothing.
If I were better at creating GIF graphics, here is where I would share a picture of the USA w/all the other continents circling it.
I, Gwendolyn Hoff, is hereby thankful to God; for the right to live freely, the skill to put words to “paper”… and the Internet, which connects me to you wonderful people… otherwise impossible for a little known writer from Wisconsin USA, living in NE Illinois.
A little historical refresher from Wikipedia:
Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.
In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence.
Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. “That the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest.
Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631. According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden. Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden’s autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims’ plans to emigrate to America. Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony’s thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.
Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.
My opening calendar graphic is a loose visual of what we celebrate/commemorate after July 4th.
Below is a less serious take on the holiday I will forever be thankful for.
I am thankful for a God who loves us.
I am thankful I’m not a vegetarian.
My Granddaughter Norah is thankful that Mommy doesn’t humiliate her like this.
I did not have this nightmare
I’m the one on the left (NOW I’m dreaming)
“You know you’re a Redneck when you order out KFC.”
“Where did that turkey go?”
My dog Molly would not pose for this