The "Thanksgiving Holiday" ushers in my very favorite time of year because these days are taken to put hectic schedules to rest and give thought to those people, places and things we are trully grateful for on the journey of a lifetime. Even if the year has been less than golden in our assesment we now have an opportunity to practice the art of appreciation and thank-full-ness. I personally begin Thanksgiving Day with "My Things I'm Gratefull For List". I might start a simple little list with just one thing I'm grateful for such as:
01-A good night's rest...
02-A Sun shiny morning in the yard, garden, beach or park... or
03-Someone or something I'm looking forward to seeing or doing on this day.
I can start the "My Thankfull List" with something as basic as giving thanks for a roof over my head or as elaborate as writing out the most meaningful transformations that have occured within my heart and mind during the course of the year. The "My Thankfull List" can consist of a single person, event or thing I'm grateful for and "I carry the list in my pocket" throughout Thanksgiving Day and add to it as the day unfolds. At the end of Thanksgiving Day I unfold the list, look it over and silently offer up a prayer of thanks for those single things I've listed which include the people, events and things I've lsited as being thankful for. I often keep "My Thankful List" with me for days, weeks and even months and add to it as the year unfolds until I run into some personal or global disappointment that brings me down. Then I carefully unfold the list and it always lifts my sprit. I do forget some times and need to be reminded as many of us do that, we have at least one thing if not many things to be grateful for. I hope one or more of the Thanksgiving Day Celebration ideas offered here may help you to celebrate you're most blessed Thanksgiving ever...
Many Americans think of Thanksgiving as a wonderful time to take off work, celebrate a long weekend, eat a great dinner, visit with friends and family. I've even heard folks say; "Happy Turkey Day" on Thanksgiving and it leaves me wondering how many people have just plain forgotten the meaning of giving thanks and have reduced themselves to turkeys and turkey eaters on this day. To remember the real meaning behind Thanks Giving might then be one of the most important reasons we all need to give meaning to Thanksgiving Day...
Throughout our history we have had many wonderful reminders of the meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving Day. Some of these reminders are posted by a few of our early Pioneers and founding Fathers as follows:
"All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill... there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings..."
~1620 Governor William Bradford leader of the Pilgrim Colony
"That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God..."
~1777 Congress of the United States first National Thanksgiving Proclamation
"Our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced..."
~January 1, 1795 George Washington first United States President set aside Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 as a National Day of Thanksgiving
"Announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people..."
~October 3, 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving "on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens
In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim's fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.
The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their leader and Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.
In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
In the early 1600's the government of England would only allow its citizens to belong to one church known as The Church of England. Because the government in England had little tolerance for religious freedom, some people who wanted to make religion "pure" again left for Holland in 1609. The "Puritans" lived and prospered in Holland, however, they became concerned when their children began speaking Dutch and became attached to the Dutch way of life.
So, on September 6, 1920 the Pilgrims, and an unknown number of crew members, boarded the Mayflower to travel to the New World. The passenger list included Pilgrims, also know as the "saints" and others, whom the Pilgrims called the "strangers". The trip to the new world took several weeks. Because the ship was made of wood, the passengers could not build a fire, so the food had to be eaten cold. Many of the passengers became sick and some even died. This long trip led to many disagreements between the Saints and the Strangers.
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
After land was sighted a meeting was held and an agreement, called the Mayflower Compact, was written. The Mayflower Compact guaranteed each group equality and joined the two groups together, all to be known as the Pilgrims.
THE FIRST WINTER
Due to the long voyage, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, north of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in November. This was very bad timing as the Pilgrims did not have time to plant food for the winter. The first winter was very harsh for the new settlers. The cold temperatures and snow interfered as the Pilgrims tried to construct their settlement. Out of the original group of Pilgrims, only about half survived the first winter.
On March 16, 1621 an Indian named Samoset arrived at the settlement and frightened the Pilgrims until he called out "Welcome" in English. Although the Pilgrims and Samoset had a difficult time communicating, he did stay for awhile and even spent the night. Samoset left the next day and returned a few days later with an English speaking Indian named Squanto. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to hunt, fish and grow corn.
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
Because of Squanto's help, the Pilgrims had a very successful harvest in October and had plenty of food for the upcoming winter. The Pilgrim's Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of celebration and thanksgiving sometime in the middle of October. The Pilgrims invited Squanto and many other Indains to join in the celebration. The Thanksgiving feast lasted for three days.
CONTINUING THE THANKSGIVING DAY TRADITION CELEBRATION
The custom of celebrating after harvest time became an annual event. However, it was not until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed the last Thursday in November a national day of Thanksgiving. On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November as a national Thanksgiving holiday.
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in the month of November in the United States.
The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.
The Pilgrims sailed on the ship, which they called "The Mayflower".
The Pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.
By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the Mayflower ship, survived. Those that were left, feeling thankful to still be alive, decided to create a thanksgiving feast.
The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving.
They Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621.
They Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth Rock, in the state of Massachusetts.
The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, organized the first Thanksgiving Day feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to join them for the Thanksgiving feast.
The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of ninety Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, whose name was "Massasoit".
The Wampanoag Indians taught the original Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.
The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.
The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.
Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor of a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and as a result of her efforts, in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.
President Abraham Lincoln issued a "Thanksgiving Proclamation" on the 3rd of October in 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as a "National Day for Thanksgiving".
President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy of the country.
The United States Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 which declared that the fourth Thursday of November would be observed as a legal Thanksgiving Day holiday each year.
"Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light..! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude..!"
~Henry Ward Beecher
"If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'Thank You', that would suffice..."
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them..."
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer; and he who most bears in mind what has been done for him by God will be most emboldened to supplicate fresh gifts from above..."
"Our Creator shall continue to dwell above the sky, and that is where those on earth will end their Thanksgiving..."
"So it is that on Thanksgiving Day each year, we give thanks to Almighty God for all His blessings and mercies shown to us not just on the good days or the Thanksgiving days, but every day of every year in our lives..."
"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men, but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude..."
~E. P. Powell
"Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends..."
"It is delightfully easy to thank God for the grace we ourselves have received, but it requires great grace to thank God always for the grace given to others..."
"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live..."
"If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that..?"
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
No longer forward nor behind,
I look in hope or fear.
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here...
~John Greenleaf Whittier
So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart...
Many diverse cultures throughout the centuries have given thanks for many different reasons and although they may differ in their outward expression they all essentially celebrate gratefulness for life's blessings. Thanksgiving has always been a special day for me to give thanks for the things I'm most grateful for in life so I thought it might be most meaningful on this special holyday to share "Family Favorite Thanksgiving Day Prayers" from around the World. The wonderous ways people from many diverse cultures and backgrounds have unified throughout the centuries through prayer and giving thanks has trully been an inspiration to me. I hope you'll agree.
This is the prayer that my dear old Dad would usually initiate with all family members holding hands. Since his passing in 1997 my beloved Mother does us the honor before Thanksgiving and most other meals.
Bless us, oh Lord,
for these thy gifts,
which we are about to receive,
from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen Martin-Franchini Family
We give thanks to God for our turkey and dressing
for without Him there would be no blessing;
We give thanks to God for bringing our families together
for we are creating memories that will last forever;
We give thanks to God for the freedom to pray
for we know one day it could be taken away;
We give thanks to God that we will all be here next year
for celebrating the holiday with love and cheer. Amen St Martin-Gosselin Family
"I am from Bulgaria. Thanksgiving is very old American holiday, but it is absolutely unknown for us, Bulgarian people. I like very much this Indian Quotation..."
Our Creator shall continue to dwell above the sky, and this is where those on the earth will end their thanksgiving. Amen Tressa Hilburn Family
Bless this food to our use
and Us to thy service Amen taught to our family by The Rev. Wal
"My mother found this somewhere along her journeys and taught it to my brother and me. She said it was well-known and wherever she found it's lost to the ages). We claim none of the original artistic nor poetic inspiration but find it to be a nice pause before meals. If someone does know its origin, we would love to credit the source accurately. I memorized this in early college days and use it when someone asks for an unusual grace."
For sun and rain, for fruit and grain,
For friends we love so dearly.
For gentle moments and kindly hearts,
We thank thee, Lord, sincerely. Amen Swift Family
The Lord's Prayer is considered to be the model of all prayer that Jesus taught us during his "Sermon on the Mount". It is recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Luke and is presented here in it's traditional language translation.
Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in the year 1182. Like many other Saints throughout history, Saint Francis committed his life to God, lived a very simple life of poverty rich in Spiritual Prayer and Devotion. St Francis gained a reputation of being the friend of animals and is often pictured with a bird perched upon his hand or a dear standing by his side. He established the Monastic Order of St. Francis, or as they are known today; "The Franciscans". St. Francis died in the year 1226 at the age of 44.
Lord, make me an instrument of your Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love.
where there is injury, Pardon.
where there is doubt, Faith.
where there is despair, Hope.
where there is darkness, Light.
where there is sadness, Joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek,
to be consoled as to Console.
to be understood as to Understand.
to be loved as to Love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life...
Prayer has been more recently defined as the time one takes talking to God whereas Meditation has been described as time taken listening to God. I like to incorporate both these pricipals to create a "Prayer-Meditation Combination". Then there is time to talk to God, listen to God, and most importantly, time to become aware of the presence of God in you're Life.
Review some of the many prayers posted on this "Prayer Healing Website". You might accompany your Prayer time with some gentle sacred or relaxing music to enhance your Prayer atmosphere. Be aware of you're Breathing and simply notice how you're feeling. Prayer can include direct mindfull intentions for Peace, Joy, Resolution and of course Love... If you can begin to feel such things during you're Prayertime then you are beginning to feel the presence of God and a natural desire to expand this experience will ensue.
Here are a few things to keep in mind and heart as you say the prayers posted on our "Global Prayer Healing Circle" website :
Surrender your problem whole heartedly to God.
Remain Open and Humble with each and every breath you take.
Forgive all who have purposely or unintentionally hurt you.
Believe... You can be healed. Have faith. Release doubt.
Give Thanks to God for every good thing no matter how small.
Scheduling time for Prayer is no different than scheduling any other activity with the exception that Prayer may have a profound effect on how the rest of you're scheduled appointments work out. That's another way of saying "Prayer makes a difference" and can influence your thoughts, words and actions each and every day. If you have a Schedule or Appointment Book why not write in an appointment for Prayer. Your allocated "Time for Prayer" can be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes or longer in length and you can start to think of this time as your appointment with God or your Higher Power. If you can get up 15-20 minutes earlier in the morning, the quiet time before the day's activity is one of the best times for Prayer. If this is not possible then as little as 5 minutes during a daily break or lunch period at work can work. If these options aren't applicable then evening Prayer before you go to sleep is another of my favorite times for Prayer. I reflect upon the day and pray for deeper understanding and guidance to make the next day even better and brighter. I actually prefer the early Morning and Evening Prayer Time combination. Start simple and stay focused and you're Prayer Time will expand naturally.
You're "Prayer Time" can be "Simple Quiet Time" where you just "Sit Still" and "Breathe" or it can be a time for asking questions and staying silently receptive to answers and guidance. If you're not quite sure how to start this special appointment you can certainly chose from any one of the many Prayers on this page, print it out and simply read it aloud or silently during your "Prayer Time Appointment" each day.
This website is dedicated to the memory to all the faithfully departed Souls of past, future & current generations who are in the process of there earthly translations and heavenly ascensions... I call upon all the Angel's of Mercy and Compassion to welcome them home... Please join with me in lighting a candle for them each day and may they rest in everlasting peace...
The Holidays are also a time to remember those who are less fortunate. This year, millions of Americans will turn to food banks. You can help others have a happier holiday by making a donation to a food bank or volunteering your time. This is a true gift that can give you're holidays ever so much more meaning this year.
At Feeding America, you can find volunteer opportunities in your area. You can also learn how to make a financial donation if you wish to bless others in this way. Your help will make this holiday season a little brighter for others and fulfill you're contribution to the Reason for the Season...
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