Thanksgiving Day, as celebrated in No rth America, is a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks fo r the many blessings enjoyed by these nations and their citizens. However, to many people, its meaning is lost. It has become simply another day fo r huge meals, dinner parties, get-togethers o r reunions. What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
Turkey dinners, cranberries, candied yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and family gatherings—these are all commonly associated with most Americans and Canadians yearly celebration of giving thanks—Thanksgiving Day!
In the United States, Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada, it is the second Monday in October. On this holiday, a Thanksgiving meal is prepared with all the trimmings; families gather together and talk, while others watch a game o r a parade filled with pilgrims, Indians and other colonial figures. Some families may even have their own yearly Thanksgiving traditions.
What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Do you picture a time of thankfulness towards God—o r is it merely one of eating, partying o r watching football?
Sadly, the latter is what Thanksgiving has become to most. They have fo rgotten why the day was established. Its meaning has slowly deterio rated, and is now almost completely lost under a cloud of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics and blitz commercialism.
While many are familiar with the traditional representation of the o riginal Thanksgiving, it is helpful to examine the purpose fo r which it was first celebrated. By doing this, the days meaning will be firmly established.