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Category: Holidays / Topics: Generosity Gratitute Holidays Holiday Season Thanks, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day

by Dan Seagren

Posted: November 18, 2018

It's more than turkey and football…

Giving thanks is a wonderful occupation when evidenced. Thanksgiving has also been a Holiday (a day appointed for giving thanks for divine goodness dating back as far as 1674). Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957 although Parliament made it a national holiday in 1879. It is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.

Regardless of socialization, gratitude and expressing it is appropriate and a day for reminding all of us is important. Spending time with family, feasting, thankful for what one has and the bounty of the previous years. Of course our feasting varies not only from country to country but from family to family.

Thanksgiving Day is essentially a harvest related festival and a number of other countries celebrate harvest related festivals. Erntedankfest in Germany is essentially a harvest festival that gives thanks for a good year and good fortune. In rural areas, the harvest aspect might be taken more literally, but churches in cities also hold festivities. A variation on America's Thanksgiving can be found in the West African nation of Liberia, which was founded in the 19th century by freed slaves from the U.S.

Exactly how many Thanksgiving Celebrations there are worldwide and what inspired them is probably not fully realized but hopefully it will continue to spread whether for religious or secular reasons. Gratitude is more than a feeling although it welcomes a celebration. Like other celebrations, it can too easily deviate from its original intent and emphasize its substance in less than Thanksgiving for giving thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.Roast turkey and pumpkin pie along with thanks.

Perhaps we should give attention this year to the words givingand thanks. Giving has many meanings but sharing is appropriate here. Thanks means to acknowledge as well as contribute. If a father gives his graduating son an automobile, and the son says Thanks flippantly and drives off to brag to his buddies about his generous gift, his giving thanks lacks something.

Why not make your Thanksgiving a big-hearted one? Think of things for which you are thankful and have an unusually wonderful Thanksgiving Day.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: November 18, 2018

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