It took magazine editor Sarah
Josepha Hale 36 years to get Thanksgiving recognized as a
national holiday. President Abraham Lincoln finally proclaimed
the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving in 1863.
Iíll get nastygrams for this one.
But I donít mind,
because I was an Eagle Scout who was taught to appreciate how
fortunate we are to live in the greatest country in the world,
and the sacrifices so many people made (and continue to make) in
order for us to live in it.
The cold, hard truth is that
Thanksgiving is not a time for giving thanks for most Americans.
By and large, it only means three things:
1. Paid time
2. A time to pig out
3. The one day of the year
they have to spend with relatives theyíd probably kill if they
had to spend any more time with them
(If you think that
was too crass, answer this question: ďWhat name and face popped
up in your mind when you read #3?Ē)
Everyone has at
least some idea of what Thanksgiving is about. After all, itís
the only holiday with a verb in its name. But few know exactly
what itís a day to be giving thanks for.
Even when its
origin is explained, most Americans canít relate to Pilgrims
being thankful for a good harvest because having plenty of food
isnít the exception in our great country today; itís the norm.
This is why the best Thanksgiving tradition Iíve seen is one
my editor turned me on to back in 2004.
Thanksgiving, all the kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews in her
family sit down together and write Thank You letters to members
of the military.
The letters are then sent to an
organization named ďA Million ThanksĒ, which distributes them to
military personnel, many of whom are deployed and unable to
spend the holidays with their families.
You can visit
their website at www.amillionthanks.org/send_a_letter.php, where
they have sample letters you can use.
If youíre looking
for a way to make Thanksgiving more meaningful, and to entertain
all the kids who start running around like a bunch of wild
banshees after the Thanksgiving meal, this is a great way to
kill two birds with one stone. (And itís a lot more pleasant
than listening to your annoying brother-in-law running his mouth
all day long).
Happy Thanksgiving from the hills of
beautiful Nashville, Tennessee!
And THANK YOU for reading this newsletter, and making it
possible for me to make a living doing what I love. I appreciate
Our neighbors in Canada also celebrate Thanksgiving, though I
donít know exactly how their Thanksgiving tradition works. Maybe
some of our readers up North can fill me in.
Click here to
comment on this issue >>