Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Many know the legend of the First Thanksgiving. The post-harvest celebration of food, feasting, and praising God held by the American Pilgrims colonists first occurred in October 1621 and was not called Thanksgiving. It was a combined solemn ceremony consisting of a full day of prayer, worship and thanks to God and a couple days of entertaining the Indians who taught the Pilgrims to catch eel and grow corn, who probably would have perished without their help.
In October 1789, President George Washington declared his support for a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God."
But it was actually President Abraham Lincoln who permanently established the holiday. He did it partially to help soothe the national mood, which was weary of the Civil War. He declared Thanksgiving again for November 23, 1864. In 1865, his successor, Andrew Johnson, declared a Thanksgiving for December 7, 1865, and presidents traditionally declared a Thanksgiving for every autumn since. (Andrew Johnson was the first to give government employees the day off, making it a legal holiday.)
In 1941, Congress passed a bill, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it, that fixed the date as the fourth Thursday in November. President Roosevelt attempted to move the holiday to the third Thursday in November, but Congress enacted a law to fix the date at the fourth Thursday in November, thus making it an "official" holiday. On November 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed the bill.
But why only one day a year? Granted, this is a National Holiday. Why not show gratitude for all your blessings everyday?
We strive to do that in our family, though it can be challenging at times when running between work, school, activities, meetings, etc. Through all these hectic doings, we must remember to pause and be thankful for all that we have and all that we offer. We are so blessed!
So, we will start our Thanksgiving day this year celebrating the Eucharist at Mass and giving thanks to God. Then we'll take our side dishes and desserts to my parents for a wonderful feast with family. Thus creating new memories for which we can be grateful.
What are you grateful for? How will you spend your Thanksgiving day?
Monday, November 19, 2012
This day was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954. Let's observe a day of understanding between all the world's children and devotion to their needs.
Never forget, kids are kids, no matter where they live.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, today we observe and honor the more than 24 million military veterans in the United States. This National Holiday was established in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, who called for a day "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory."
Another little known fact about this Veteran's Day 2012 is that this is the first year we don't have a veteran of WWI among us. Eventually that will also be the case for WWII veterans. So why not honor and thank them while we can.
Suggestions for ways you can show your appreciation to veterans all throughout the coming year:
o In 2013, attend the local Veteran's Day Parade in your community.
o If you are a business owner, make sure your next new hire is a veteran.
o If you have access to affordable housing, help a homeless veteran get off the streets.
o Buy a soft drink, cup of coffee or tank of gas for a serviceman in uniform at your next road stop.
o At the very least, just say "Thanks for your service" to a soldier passing you by on the street. It's not that difficult and I've done it often enough that it's second nature to me now.
You can also share a life-saving book with a recent veteran who is having a hard time returning to civilian life. A friend of mine, Michelle Matthews, a captain in the United States Army who also experienced combat in Iraq, has written a book, "Re-entry: Surviving Life After War--A Personal Story". reentrybook.com/ Follow this title on Facebook or purchase the book at Amazon.com or BN.com. I only wish my friend John had mentioned to my husband and I about his nephew, Ryan. He was a 22 year-old Army soldier who, upon returning from Afghanistan, was having a difficult time with his new life as a civilian. In August he took his own life.
In appreciation to all those unnamed service men and women, to my grandfathers, to my Dad, to my uncles, to Michelle, to Ryan, to my neighbors and classmates who all made sacrifices to join the armed forces so that we all may enjoy our freedom as a citizens of these United States of America, I thank you!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I'm not alone in saying that this election year has taken it's toll on my patience. The smear campaigns fueled by negative television and radio ads are now in the scrap pile.
Thank goodness this is all over and we can go on to our regularly scheduled Tuesday, lifestyle and overall being.
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