By Ralphine Major

It is the day set aside to feast with family and give thanks.  Pilgrims, pumpkin pie, and a platter of turkey can easily be overshadowed by the upcoming festivities of Christmas.  But, it is so important to take time from our hectic schedules and recognize the blessings from our Creator.

Our country has a lot to be thankful for.  Our forefathers had much to be thankful for, too.  As history lessons remind us, many colonists died during a brutal Massachusetts winter.  Governor William Bradford declared the first thanksgiving day the next year on December 13, 1621.  They celebrated for three days after a bountiful crop was harvested and were joined by the Indians who brought wild meat of turkey and venison.  On November 26, 1789, President George Washington declared a day of thanksgiving, also.  In 1863, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving.  With economics in mind, President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 declared Thanksgiving a week earlier to extend the shopping season!  It is hard to imagine that even then, economics played such a vital role in our country.  Today, the hours vary for many of the stores that open on Thanksgiving Day.  Later, Congress officially declared the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday—Thanksgiving Day—the day set aside for Americans to celebrate their “harvest” and give thanks.

This Thanksgiving, may you enjoy time together with your family.  May you enjoy a table full of food and know that you are blessed.  May we all remember on Thanksgiving Day and every day to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for food, family, and all good things that are ours.  “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” Psalm 95:2 (KJV)  Happy Thanksgiving!

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