I don't know about you, but I don't get it.
By By Lindsey Sherrill
It's not even Thanksgiving yet and people have got up their Christmas decorations. It could be just my opinion, but somehow, that just doesn't seem right. Can't we at least finish one holiday before we start the next? I mean, come on, one day it's Halloween and the next it's Christmas. What ever happened to Turkey Day? Don't you think that maybe, maybe just a couple of days of turkeys and Pilgrims could get squeezed in between the jack o' lanterns and Santa Claus?
Maybe the reason that Thanksgiving is so looked over is because it is so hard to commercialize. Think about it. Halloween is all about the costumes and candy and scary decorations. It's just one big ol' Wal-Mart field day. Christmas, right or wrong, no matter how much the whole "peace, joy, and love season" is touted, it's still about go, go, go, get, get, get, buy, buy, buy, sale, sale. 'Tis the season to go shopping!
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is about something bigger. Thanksgiving isn't about crazy carvings (pilgrim o' lanterns?) or flashing lights (Can you imagine a giant twinkling turkey stretched across North Main Street?!). Thanksgiving is about family and food and counting your blessings. It's about a time when we can stop and reflect on all the things that have happened over the past year. It's about a time when getting isn't the issue so much as being grateful for what you have already received. Thanksgiving isn't a holiday based on revelry or religion. It isn't about costumes and candy or gifts and getting. Thanksgiving is a holiday that is based on reverence and gratitude.
Thanksgiving, as most people know, was begun in Plymouth with the Pilgrims. They set aside a day to feast with their friends and family and to thank God for bringing them through the previous year. The day did not really become a tradition that early in history, but it did set a precedent. As early as the 1780s, George Washington issued a proclamation to begin a Thanksgiving celebration and a national holiday. The official proclamation was lost somehow and not recovered until 1921. By that time Thanksgiving had been declared a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863. In 1941 Congress finally set a permanent date for Thanksgiving, the date that now stands.
However, I don't really think all that is so important to remember as the true spirit of Thanksgiving. This year, take some time to reflect on the bounty of the year before. I'm sure that no matter what has happened in 2002, there have been plenty of things to be grateful for. Take a few minutes to count your blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.