November 22, 2012

"What Is Thanksgiving?"

Happy Thanksgiving! On this beautiful day, I wish you a world full of serenity and joy! A year ago at this time, I had a friend from Australia ask me about what Thanksgiving Day means in America. The following is the answer that I gave:

Thanksgiving celebrations date back as far as the early 1600s. The story goes that the impoverished Pilgrims, after sailing aboard the Mayflower to the New World from Plymouth, England, faced an unspeakably harsh winter in which more than half of their numbers succumbed to disease, starvation, and despair. Those remaining were able to survive through help from the local natives who gave food and supplies to overcome the bitter cold and shared their knowledge of cultivation. By the following summer, fields of maize were in place that yielded bountiful crops. It is said that the very first Thanksgiving celebration had Pilgrims and the Wompanoag feasting side by side and included such historical names as Myles Standish, Squanto, Samoset, and William Bradford. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed officially that the last Thursday of every November would be a day set aside for thanksgiving and praise to God. American families traditionally celebrate it with a big feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving morning is known for the Macy's Parade in Manhattan (which is huge) and then an afternoon of football games. It is also thought of as the beginning of the holiday season. It's a great day. I absolute love it!

Normally on a Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year), I would make a turkey sandwich and a cup of hot cocoa, put on some holiday music, and spend the day setting up the Christmas Tree. However, I unfortunately saw the death of a family member this week and tomorrow I'll be hopping aboard an airplane to South America for the funeral ceremonies. This year will be a little bit different; I'll be spending Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday in a tropical environment. I'm sure I will have more to tell about Guyana when I return. It is a fascinating place. Anyway, knowing that I would be out of the country after Thanksgiving, I decided to put up the Christmas Tree early. Here it is! Cheers!!!

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."

~Psalm 95:1-6