I was wondering how Thanksgiving in America got started and when it became a Holiday. Just a Brief history lesson!
Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. In 1621 the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony set aside a day of Thanksgiving to God. It was a harvest festival.
Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders up until 1682, and then by church and state leaders until the American Revolution, according to Wikipedia. Thus Thanksgiving has historical roots in both religious and cultural traditions.
Through the years after the Revolution, Presidents from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving proclamations with Lincoln, in 1864, turning it into a Federal holiday on the last Thursday of November. Finally, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday of November to make more time for Christmas shopping.
Many other countries observe Thanksgiving, or a harvest festival, during the months of October and November. That is, one day is observed.
Although it did start out as a day to give Thanksgiving to God, food was always a point. Yet when did the change come about when food became the focus rather than being thankful?
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings but let’s not forget to be thankful to the One who gave it all to us. Let’s say Thank you God!
We have so much to be thankful for to God: our lives, our health, our spouses, our family, our friends, our homes. Everything comes from God as we have so many blessings. So let us be thankful.
If you don’t already give thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day, then maybe you need to begin a new tradition. As we gather together with our family and friends, how about taking a time, either during the meal, or after meal, to let each person say what they are thankful for. You don’t have to stop at one thing; it can be more than one thing! But let us be thankful!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.” (ERV)