It wasn't until Lincoln designated the last Thursday of November in 1863 as the official national day of Thanksgiving that it was celebrated annually. But as you might suspect, the date wasn't always advantageous to retailers and the Christmas shopping season. They lobbied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to change the date in 1939 because Thanksgiving fell on November 30 that year. This left only 24 days before Christmas and the U.S. was still struggling to get out the Great Depression. The President was sympathetic to their fears of poor Christmas sales and officially set Thanksgiving for the fourth Thursday of November. And so it remains to this day, although retailers seem to get more aggressive about the Christmas season with each passing year. I think there were Christmas decorations in some stores by September this year. Sheesh! So before you completely succumb to the summoning tentacles of Black Friday, fully enjoy a day of thankfulness tomorrow.
There's a lot of pressure for those cooking the feast to make the perfect meal. But as I've learned over the years, it's really about sharing your table with friends and family. The Rockwell painting of Thanksgiving may be our goal, but if the gravy is lumpy, or the turkey is a bit dry, it's not the end of the world. Most of our holiday expectations are way too high anyway. So relax, enjoy the people around the table, eat way too much, watch football and the Macy's Parade, get folks to help in the kitchen before and after - just ask. Most of all count the blessings. Once you start, you'll be amazed how gracious our Heavenly Father is. Happy Thanksgiving!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:4-5 NLT
|Not a Rockwell, but a Wallace Thanksgiving 2011|