Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday at this time of year that's set aside to count our blessings!  

And reminisce about Thanksgivings past...
The first Thanksgiving that usually comes to mind is the one that took place in October 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the Pilgrims and native American Indians.  It was held after the first successful harvest to give thanks.  After that first Thanksgiving, the custom spread throughout the colonies, with each region choosing its own date.

President George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide Thanksgiving celebration on November 26, 1789 to acknowledge with grateful hearts the many favors of Almighty God.  Tea was probably part of his Thanksgiving celebration.  Unfortunately,  it was a one time only celebration because his successors failed to keep it going.  Thomas Jefferson opposed the proclamation of holidays, so he paid no attention to Thanksgiving, although some people did continue to celebrate it on different dates, in different states.
The idea of a national Thanksgiving holiday was slow to catch on.   Thanksgiving as we now celebrate it, was largely the creation of Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, editor of one of the first women's magazines.  It took her almost forty years of persuading public officials all over the country to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.  She used her magazine to editorialize the subject and print recipes.  She also wrote letters to hundreds of influential people [including presidents and governors] asking them to support her cause.
When she presented her idea to President Lincoln, he issued a National Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863 [during the Civil War] setting aside the last Thursday of November as the official day, thinking it would help unite the nation.  He called on the "whole American people" wherever they lived - north, south, east or west - to unite "with one heart and one voice" in observing a special day of thanksgiving.  He urged prayers in churches and in homes to "implore the interposition of the Almight Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union."
From that time on Thanksgiving was proclaimed annually by  U.S. Presidents.   In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt changed it to the third Thursday of November, causing many people to be outraged by his "change of national tradition."  In 1941 Congress  declared  Thanksgiving would fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it has remained to this day.

Over the river and through the woods
to Jeremy's house we go...
We celebrated Thanksgiving at my youngest son and daughter-in-law's  house this year, in Chelsea, MI.   They moved into their new home in July, which is situated on 2.5 acres of wooded property.  15 family members enjoyed the day together.  I cooked the meal, my daughter made the pies, and my daughters-in-law provided munchies to enjoy throughout the afternoon and evening.  Jeremy built a bonfire in the rear of his property later in the evening [for those who were willing to leave the comforts of  indoors to enjoy it].   I'm so thankful for my wonderful family!

Sweet baby Ellie is wearing her "Baby's First Thanksgiving" outfit, held by her great-grandmother [my mother].

Below my second oldest granddaughter, Marissa, is giving Ellie some lovin' [and she's enjoying it!].
After looking through old Thanksgiving photographs, I found a picture of Jeremy's first Thanksgiving [1979] with his older sister, Lori, brother, Steve, and me.   Amazing how swiftly the years have passed!
Fast forward to 1988
 The family grew to include two grandchildren, and a soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
 Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices!


  1. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a year full of blessings!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! It's always nice to look back at the history....

  3. Wonderful family gathering photos - loved seeing them!

  4. Family is the very best part of any holiday. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful and fun to see the pictures.

  5. Your family is so nice looking -- and you've always had pretty tablewares as well!


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