The candy has been eaten, store bought costumes have been boxed up, and Jack-O-Lanterns have been composted. Halloween is over, and the masses have turned their attention to Christmas.
Wait a minute. Halloween… Christmas… Halloween… Christmas… There’s something between those, right? Oh yeah, Thanksgiving is November 27th.
As soon as we doused our porch lights, and quit handing out candy to tot sized superheroes, Target began airing jingles about, “A Marshmallow World,” and stores were decked for Santa’s visit. While I can’t fault advertisers for borrowing jingles from the Rat Pack, it bothers me that we don’t take time to focus just on Thanksgiving.
This annual oversight may be due to the trappings of the surrounding holidays. Halloween delivers costume based fantasy, parties, and mounds of candy. Christmas gives us presents, carols, cards, decorated trees, and is a chance for Christians to observe the birth of our savior. Thanksgiving doesn’t offer the same trappings and excitement.
Most people agree it has something to do with Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal. However, Thanksgiving wasn’t declared a holiday until 1863. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book, spent 17 years writing letters to five Presidents of the United States: Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln; urging them to designate a nationally recognized day of Thanksgiving.
Some say, Lincoln saw the holiday as a tool to unite the country during a bloody civil war. Others claim, he capitulated simply to end the barrage of letters. In any case, President Lincoln finally responded to Mrs. Hale's repeated requests by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.
The day stores use to boost Christmas sales, was originally intended as a day to give thanks. Giving thanks may not be as exciting as trick-or-treating, or opening presents under a tree, but it may be more important.
I must admit, my bodily aches & pains make it hard to count my blessings sometimes. Nevertheless, I’m; surrounded, encouraged, helped, and loved; by terrific people everyday. Thus, I plan to show them my gratitude this Thanksgiving, before I think about what I want for Christmas.