A New Thanksgiving Celebration?

Yesterday afternoon we had some errands to run in town and while we were out, I noticed something that is taking place in our country today. I noticed that some of the fast food restaurants had on their signs that they will be opened on Thanksgiving Day. But not only these but there are stores opened on this special holiday.

I remember when I was a child that the only store you could find opened on Thanksgiving Day was a gas station.  Over the last 15-20 years some of the stores started opening up on Thanksgiving Day to have sales and make the almighty dollar. My husband told me that he remembers the McDonald's in our town would open for breakfast and then be closed by lunch time, since he would stop before going hunting.  I grew up in Atlanta and I honestly don't remember any McDonald's being opened but then again, we were not in the habit of going out to eat while trying to get to my Maw Maw's to celebrate the Day of Thanksgiving.

Please tell me, why would anyone want to go shopping on this special day?...  I know that there are many people who have no family or no family in the area, so they go and have a dinner out. But still! When people are going to out these places on Thanksgiving, they are expecting someone to be there to prepare and serve that food. But what about that employee's family and their celebration?

Americans have gotten so far away from our historical, Biblical roots that it is even crossing over into our holidays. Have we forgotten what  Thanksgiving Day means? It means that we are to take this day and give thanks unto God, for all the blessings that He has given to us.  Have we forgotten why the Pilgrims celebrated a Day of Thanksgiving? They were  Thankful to God who brought them through all the struggles that they endured the first year they were here.  If you remember over half of the people died during the first winter. They did not know how to "care" for themselves here in this new world, until the Indians came and taught them. These people were Thankful for God allowing them to still be alive and able to worship Him.

Our Pastor handed out a copy of the George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, on Sunday. When I read it, I was so moved.  To know that our first president set aside a day, for our new country to celebrate a day with Thanksgiving and Praises unto our God.
Let's not forget why we have a Thanksgiving Day!

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington


  1. I agree that it is sad.. I remember even as a teen that the only place open was the movies on Thanksgiving.. I used to be irritated *as a teen* as when the festivities ended, I wanted to go out and hang with my friends, of coarse, that is all different now :)

    I do feel badly for those who do not have somewhere to go on thanksgiving and probably places like Mcdonalds are comfort to them. TO go to a regular resturant would be a reminder of the holiday itself... going to McDonalds is every day... if you are lonely, you probably dont want to be reminded..?? just my thought tho, I do think it sad.
    That being said, the shopping is rediculous, I mean seriously with black friday in just a few hours, whats the point, are the stores REALLY making that much money to stay open and pay all those employees?

    Now since I was a small child, my dads side of the family *he has nine bros and sisters* has always went out to breakfast on Christmas morning... better believe that the waitress who ends up at our table is MORE then happy that she is working on Christmas :) SO, I never thought to feel badly that she was working. Its a tradition that we have always had and I cherish it.. tho, now its dwindled and not even HALF of the people still come, its still special to me ...
    OK, I have just rambled away.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  2. What a coincidence -- this Sunday our pastor read George Washington's letter as a reminder to us of what Thanksgiving was originally intended to be about. :o) Also, every year he reads Abraham Lincoln's proclamation about Thanksgiving. I think they're both great things that should be read each year, and whenever our son begins school, I'm thinking of having him memorize one of them (or maybe even both)... as our pastor said, the Gettysburg Address is a good piece of history, but these are as good and perhaps more important. Interestingly enough, did you know GW's letter was lost shortly after it was written and wasn't found until 1921 when a man bought it at an auction for $300? Neat how God kept it safe and preserved for all that time. :o)

  3. It's sad and so true. Not only are there people without family, but we, in general, has also become more isolated, crowding around our FB pages to see what's going on in a virtual world rather than the real one, so reaching out to friends or the community is not something that people will put themselves on the line to do. Then there are those people who don't like the holiday because of what happened to the Indians and refuse to celebrate it because of it's "injustice". However, while I'm sure there are people that are taken away from their families due to having to work, there are also those that chose to volunteer to work for the same reasons listed above. Let's also not forget to be thankful for the men and women in the military, who often don't get to choose what post they stand or whether or not they work on Thanksgiving.

  4. Memeber of my extended family work in the grocery store industry; we always had people coming in just in time for supper - as the stores would stay open until about 3P. Our daughter is working at Starbucks in the AM and pretty thankful for the time and a half pay, she'll be getting. I'm sure that there are other folks out there that are happy to be just be employed, for those folks, working tomorrow will be a blessing. I do totally agree that corporate greed has leached it's way into our holidays; sadly most folks celebrate the day for the turkey and football - forgeting to set a place at the table for Christ.
    I know this, since I grew up in an "American" extended family, not a Christian family. We'd sit down to eat, and some one would be like, "um, maybe we should say grace before we eat". I don't remember how old I was (I was a rather precocious child), one year an aunt by marriage (whose home we were eating at) made the above statement, and I shouted "Grace!" She was a rather mean person {she physically & verbally abused her son (my cousin), my sis and I were at the house once when she began badgering him, then eventually became physically violent with him, I'll have to do a post on this some day} She was not amused by my humor, my parents didn't think it was that big of a deal, but allowed her to "discipline" me in some way, I believe I was served last, she was big on humilation - no big deal to me, I only liked the mashed potatoes and stuffing, anyway.

  5. Thanks for the comments. When I clicked to publish this post, I was a little afraid of what some of the comments would be.

    Yes, I agree about those working it is definitely a blessing, to have a income.

    It is sad, for those who have no one, for Thanksgiving to be just an ordinary day. These are the ones that should be included in our gatherings of family and friends.

    I'm thankful that there are many families who will sacrifice a loved one who is working to keep our country safe and free. I have a precious nephew who is in the Army. Thank you to all who are in the military!


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