The Timeless Custom of Giving Thanks

This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. As I was growing up, Thanksgiving was always a big deal in our family. To honor the day, my father loved to read part of a 1936 Thanksgiving Proclamation by Wilbur L. Cross, the Governor of Connecticut. As I got older, I memorized the opening lines:

“Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons, when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year. In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the twenty-sixth of November, as a day of Public Thanksgiving.”

Celebrating the bounty of the autumn harvest was a tradition long before America came into being. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans gave thanks to the gods at this time of year. Even before those civilizations, the Chinese celebrated the fall harvest during the ancient Shang dynasty. So, this custom of giving thanks for blessings goes way back in time.

I love Thanksgiving because it’s all about gratitude. You don’t have to give gifts – you just give thanks for the people and things that make life worth living.

So, wherever you are, give thanks this week. Tell the people in your life how grateful you are for them. Take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate all that you’ve been given.

Life is an extra special occasion when you are thankful for who you love and those who love you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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