When I think about Thanksgiving, I often think about what it really stands for. According to our history books it was a time for celebration by the Pilgrims after their first harvest and Native Americans join the celebration. I am sure many people do not know the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in October and not November and lasted for 3 days. Also, it was not always celebrated and Thomas Jefferson did not observe the holiday. It was not until Abraham Lincoln became president that it was made a federal holiday in 1863. Abraham Lincoln moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday of November.
However, before the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving the Spaniards and the French who occupied territory in the United States in the 16th century were actually the first to hold Thanksgiving services; isn’t that surprising? So, as we tend to think or were taught the Pilgrims started this tradition, it was actually derived from the Spaniards and Europeans. This also shows how strong the influence of prayer was during Thanksgiving, because they spent days praying and thanking God for food, victories during time of war, etc. People tend to forget that in those days, food was hard to grow because of long seasons of drought.
See, there was no Black Friday during those days but a gathering of different cultures to share food, stories, pray, and to give thanks. So, when you are giving thanks this year, please remember the Native Americans and all those who have sacrificed for you to have shelter, food, and clothes, etc… We should also pray for those who are less fortunate then us. When you think about it, the Native Americans could have easily not shared with the Pilgrims and watch them suffer but they did not. They ate together and prayed together. Now let that marinate and be sure to share what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.