"I've always dreamed of being an old philosopher. So far I've achieved one out of two!"

Making Your Family Thanksgiving More Meaningful

USA Thanksgiving History 

 One of the things I am truly thankful for is you! Therefore I would like to share with you two interesting items about Thanksgiving.

1. How to get your family focused on their blessings. 

2. The roots and true meaning of the USA Thanksgiving holiday.


1. How to get your family focused on their blessings. 

Here is a very interesting activity to do when you, your family, and friends gather for a thanksgiving or any other celebration:

A Personal, Creative Thanksgiving Exercise

The wonderfully creative technique of acrostics can be used to make Thanksgiving or other holiday an even more joyous time. When you are together with friends and family during the holidays each year, ask everyone present to participate in creating a list of things for which they are thankful. Provide a pencil and sheet of paper for each person as they arrive. The sheet should contain the alphabet written vertically on the left side. Each person is to fill in words that start with each letter of the alphabet.

After dinner, while everyone is enjoying desert, go around the table, letter by letter and ask what everyone wrote. You will find natural humor, tenderness, remembrances and even a few tears as events of the year are reviewed and loved ones remembered.

Before your guests leave, collect the sheets or make copies of the information on them. In the future they will become a vibrant history of life and events that were important to the people you love.

(If you use this exercise, please be so kind as to let me know your reaction.)

MY THANKSGIVING LIST FOR (insert year)

This year I am thankful for . . . .

LETTER

Words that come to mind.

 Why I am thankful for this:

A...

 

 

B...

 

 

C...

 

 

D...

 

 

E...

 

 

F...

 

 

G...

 

 

H...

 

 

I...

 

 

J...

 

 

K...

 

 

L...

 

 

M...

 

 

N...

 

 

O...

 

 

P...

 

 

Q...

 

 

R...

 

 

S...

 

 

T...

 

 

U...

 

 

V...

 

 

W...

 

 

X...

 

 

Y...

 

 

Z...

 

 

God bless you and yours, always and all ways.


2. The roots and true meaning of the USA Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving is not about the Pilgrims thanking the Indians, children thanking their parents, one person thanking another, or people thanking the government of the USA. 

Thanksgiving is about all of us thanking God for our blessings. (You may want to investigate how your local schools teach this history to your children.) 

The following is from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/GW/gw004.html I have reformatted these words for emphasis, but have changed nothing else. The words, spelling and punctuation are exactly as they were written (Image of actual page 174K) by George Washington.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

by George Washington, New York, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God
to obey his will, 
to be grateful for his benefits, 
and humbly to implore his protection and favor
-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States 
a day of public thanksgiving and prayer 
to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States 
to the service of that great and glorious Being, 
who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be
-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks
--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation
--for the signal and manifold mercies, 
and the favorable interpositions of his Providence
which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war
--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed
--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted
--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; 
and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; 
and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite
 in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations 
and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions
-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, 
to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually
--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed
--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and 
to bless them with good government, peace, and concord
--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, 
and the encrease of science among them and us
--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington


Interesting footnote - From http://www.night.net/thanksgiving/kwash-11.html and attributed to Wayne Winters of Pocatello, Idaho:

Shortly after the Thanksgiving Proclamation was written it was lost for over a hundred years. It was apparently misplaced or attached to some private papers in the process of moving official records from one city to another when the capital was changed. However, it happened the original manuscript was not in the official archives until 1921 when Dr. J. C. Fitzpatrick, then assistant chief of the manuscripts division of the Library of Congress "found" the proclamation. It was at an auction sale being held at an art gallery in New York. It was written in long hand by Wm. Jackson, secretary to President Washington and was signed by George Washington. Dr Fitzpatrick purchased the document for $300.00 for the Library of Congress, where it now resides.