I thought it might be kind of fun (and interesting) to explore the reasons behind this celebration. My information is courtesy of the H2 website.
Did you know that Thanksgiving has British origins?
"The tradition was carried over to the U.S., including a feast believed to have been held during the fall of 1621 in Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The event was proclaimed by Gov. William Bradford to celebrate the harvest reaped in the colony following a brutal winter. The colonist invited the local Wampanoag Indians to join in the celebration"
"In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth."
President Abraham Lincoln issued a Presidential Proclamation, in 1863..right in the middle of the Civil War...declaring the final Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. It wasn't until the mid 1870's after reconstruction that the holiday took hold and was celebrated nationally.
In December of 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the official day of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. The day was moved back to allow for more shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For more interesting facts, please check out the H2 website
However you plan to spend your fourth Thursday of November, may your table be filled to over flowing, may your hearts be filled with love and compassion for those who have none, and may you completely be immersed in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
From my house to yours...be blessed!