Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've Got a Question - You've Got an Answer

In just one week, we here in the United States will celebrate our country's 145th Thanksgiving Day since the last Thursday of the month was proclaimed to be a National Day of Thanksgiving by then President Abraham Lincoln in his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation which was issued on the 3rd day of October in 1863.

Even though Thanksgiving services had been held in Virginia as early as 1607, America's very first Thanksgiving Festival, and the one that we all associate the holiday with, was a three-day feast which began on December 13th, 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The feast gave the Pilgrims, who had much to be thankful for, an opportunity to praise God and to celebrate with their Indian friends after they had reaped a bountiful harvest following a very rough first winter and spring in their new land.

It wasn't until 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, that America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution and that the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities."

Most Thanksgiving services and observances still only occurred at the State level until many years later when Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book, finally found a President who responded to her petitioning for an annual National Thanksgiving Day. For thirty years, Mrs. Hale promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting one President after another, until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving.

Over the next seventy-five years, future Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent by annually declaring a National Thanksgiving Day until Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday in 1941 thus ending the need for an annual proclamation to be made.

Is it any wonder then that Abraham Lincoln is my very favorite President? Who else took the time to set aside one day out of the year when we not only take the time to remember that which we are most thankful for but can eat ourselves silly in the process? It's time to reflect upon the year that has almost passed, to perhaps gather with family and friends and share the bounty of love and friendship, and to maybe just slow down a little bit from life's regular hectic pace. Unless, of course, you happen to work for some heartless retailer who thinks it's necessary to stay open on a formerly "everything's closed" holiday and try to wring every last penny possible out of a struggling economy.

However, that's just my opinion which at long last brings me to the question of this post (I bet you thought I'd forgotten what the title of this post was, didn't ya?!) ...

What are you most thankful for this year?

Just because it's an American holiday that we'll be celebrating next week doesn't mean you need to be an American to answer this question; I don't think you have to have a designated National Day of Thanksgiving in order to be thankful. As a matter of fact, we should be thankful on a regular basis for all that we have in our lives. Sometimes, though, I think we just tend to forget the good as we get so overwhelmed with the bad but for now let's say we put the bad aside and concentrate on the good, shall we??

23 comments:

  1. Linda, I have so much to be thankful for - my family, friends, health, abundance, safety, and life...

    Oh, and faith, too!

    Tappy Thanksgiving! I'm so thankful to have you in my life!

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  2. Tappy Thanksgiving... That's Lois-Typo Talk for Happy Thanksgiving...LOL!

    Typos... geesh!

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  3. I am most thankful for the progress our solders have made in Iraq. I hope each and every one of them come home to a ticker tape parade.

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  4. i am thankful for family and friends and big cruise ships and cake!! and warm sunny weather.. and cake. and big juicy turkeys. and cake. and diet coke. and cake.

    the end.

    happy thanksgiving linda!

    smiles, bee
    xoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxo

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  5. I am thankful for my soulmate. For finding the one man in this world who is not afraid to love me, and is not afraid to show the world he loves me.

    I am thankful for a healthy family.

    I am thankful for an internet full of great friends.

    I am thankful to have a secure job.

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  6. Does Charlie ever talk about anything else? (Oops. I meant to just think that.)

    I think they way things are going I happy and thankful to have a job...

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  7. Well, Bud, to be honest, I echo Charlie's sentiment entirely as I am also thankful for those brave men and women who are willing to put on a uniform and go forth to defend our freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

    I'm thankful for Sarge Charlie's support of our troops and I'm sure that the troops are, too. He may sound like a broken record sometimes but it's a record that bears being played over and over again until this war ends and our troops come home.

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  8. THE BABY'S GONNA BE FIVE ON TUESDAY!

    sniff sniff

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  9. There is so many things I am thankful for. I guess the most treasured is my family. I have a great husband (you met him so you know), my son and my two wonderful grand babies, and my siblings along with my nieces and nephews. It's the getting together and spending quality time that is so precious to me.

    I'm grateful for all my wonderful friends. Some I've met and some I've not met. They are all very dear to me.

    I'm thankful for my health. I'm thankful that I'm retired. I'm thankful for my boating experiences.

    The list goes on and on. What a great question Linda. Have a great day my friend. Big hug. :)

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  10. Oh my, there are so many things. But first and foremost I'm greatful and thankful for my hubby and my new family :o)
    Happy Thanksgiving, Lin!

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  11. Jamie (Duward Discussion) pointed me in this direction... I am thankful for that (come to think of it, I am thankful for her friendship and wisdom). I surely have enjoyed this blog as well as Jamie's.

    It has been a very difficult year. I am grateful that my husband's cancer is currently in remission. We married late in life (just celebrated #4), and still hold hands when we fall asleep at night - I am thankful for that love.

    I am sure I could think of more, but right now this is what comes to the front of the line.

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  12. As you most likely know, we're thankful super "O"bama is not in office, yet! ;~))

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  13. I'm thankful for my family, my friends, and my new wonderful blogging friends.

    Oh! and my cats, and my health. And that Ralph finally landed a job, even though it's not full time.

    Great question you posed, Duchess Linda. So simple yet it gives us all a chance to pause and reflect on our blessings.

    I also agree with you and Sarge that we all should be thankful for our brave men and women in uniform. They deserve our gratitude every day.

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  14. Great post Linda and a great question.

    The thing I am most thankful for this year is that my son got away with just a broken foot and injured knee after being attacked.

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  15. I am thankful for God and Country, my entire family, all my friends, my beautiful cats, my home and I am very most recently grateful that my new business seems to have gotten off the ground sooner than I expected... Translation, before I ran out of money! Now if Obama can just send me some of that affordable health insurance and free money...

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  16. Still being here with my father.

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  17. Well, Honestly I am thankful for everything and everyone in my life and my freedom to live in this country. Yeah for Freedom. So I am really thankful to the brave adventurous souls that took off to find the end of the earth and ended up in America. Whoop!! Whoop!!!

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  18. These days I am just thankful for a job! Great post and thank you for hosting my E-card! :D

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  19. I'm thankful for the hope our nation has even though things look so grim now, I believe that we will come together and be part of an important part in the history of the USA. I'm thankful that my older dd was able to vote and take part in Pres. Elect's nomination and that my younger dd was part of it too in her own way.

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  20. So many things I am thankful for -family, friends, food, faith -for openers. And all the many things that accompany those "Four F's". Good fortune doesn't always mean high finance, just being fortunate to have enough. Sometimes just enough to scrape by, other times enough to splurge a little here and there, but enough to be able to enjoy still being here, able to share the good and the not-so-hot at times too with so many who mean a heck of a lot to me!

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  21. I'm thankful for my health, ability to provide for my wife & I, for the memories we've made together, family & friends, and for long rides astride my "steel steed" (Harley) through the quiet back roads, enjoying what God & nature put out there for us to witness. Life just doesn't get any better for this good 'ol boy EMT redneck/biker!

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  22. easy.

    I am THANKFUL that my mama is getting better and that I had the window of opportunity this year.

    (and thankful I got to meet some bloggers this year....smile)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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