History Thanksgiving Day – Thanksgiving Last Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Origin

History of Thanksgiving Day, how did Thanksgiving come about?

ˌTHaNGksˈɡiviNG/
noun

 (in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 and is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. A similar holiday is held in Canada, usually on the second Monday in October.Thanksgiving origin

The day was set in stone by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and approved by Congress in 1941. FDR changed it from Abraham Lincoln’s designation as the last Thursday in November (because there are sometimes five Thursdays in the month). Then in 1846, author Sarah Josepha Hale waged a one-woman campaign for Thanksgiving to be recognized as a truly national holiday.   She is best known for being the author of the nursery Mary Had A Little Lamb.

 Since I have been living in the States for the last 12 years I have noticed that most Americans celebrate and put more effort into Thanksgiving than they do to Christmas.   The beaches are packed with families who have come together from all over the country to be together for this occasion.  The families seem to make a real effort to be together at this time of the year.  Being British Thanksgiving dinner is exactly the same as Christmas dinner and may I say most enjoyable.  I am certainly looking forward to mine this year. Trying not to gain any weight over this holiday period can be a challenge, though!!

 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Another Thanksgiving tradition is the Macy’s Parade, in 1924, the annual Thanksgiving parade started by Louis Bamberger in Newark, New Jersey at the Bamberger’s store was transferred to New York City by Macy’s. In New York, the employees marched to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant cImage result for macy's thanksgiving day paradeostumes.  There are so many people attend the parade and also watch it on TV.     It really is very spectacular it starts at 9.00am and finishes around Noon time, many people can watch it while they are preparing the dinner for the family.  It is watched just as much as the Queens Speech on Christmas Day.  Tradition is a very important part of any family.

Commercial and Media Hipe

The origin of Thanksgiving does get lost in all the commerciality of it all.  The big sales which used to be Black Friday which now has changed to earlier and earlier every year.  Stores instead of opening at Midnight on Thanksgiving they now are open as early as 3pm.  However, there are some stores who refuse to open until Black Friday so that families can spend time together without worrying about either going to work or rushing out to get the latest bargain for something they don’t really need.  There are so many people get into the habit of saving up their money throughout the year so they can take advantage of the sales so they can buy all their Christmas Gifts.  This can be a good idea but now with Cyber Monday you can choose to shop in the comfort of your own home or office without all the crowds and battles.

Why Turkey Dinner?What is the origin of Thanksgiving

The famous 3-day feast menu was lobster, goose, cod, and beer, there was no Turkey in the original menu, therefore how did Turkey manage to get to be the traditional Thanksgiving dinner?   There was mention of a Turkey Hunt before the dinner, some say as Wild Turkeys are natural to North America it was the obvious choice.  We may never know the real reason except that we all enjoy a very nicely good turkey on turkey day.  Try this recipe.

Enjoying Thanksgiving

The origin and the meaning of Thanksgiving and how it came about gets lost a lot of the time, but mostly people do remember to give thanks for what they have and are grateful at this time of year.  The holiday season brings out the best is society a lot of the time.  If we were to use the same sense of gratitude and thankfulness all year round perhaps families and society would be a much happier place.  There is also a lot of stress around the holiday times.  Please take the time to be thankful for what you have no matter how large or small.  Give praise to others especially the children in your lives.  I am very grateful to have the opportunity to share this post and my website with you, I am grateful for my healthy daughter and my healthy wonderful grandchildren and mostly grateful for my husband who I found later in life.  Never give up saying thank you.  Never give up being grateful.  My mantra daily which I have on my notice board in my office and see every day is:

Life is good and I am grateful

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are in the world, and a wonderful holiday time whatever your choice of celebration.  I am grateful for all of you.


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12 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I am so happy Thanksgiving is around the corner. My kids love Thanksgiving dinner and I love cooking for them. I feel like I get to do for my kids what my mom did for me and we get to make great memories. I am not looking forward to the weight either but I am taking steps to lose before that day. Thanks for this great article on the history.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      You are welcome I am so glad you love cooking that big meal 🙂

      Reply
  2. Dan

    I didn’t know that the Author of Mary had a little lamb had anything to do with starting Thanksgiving! That’s pretty cool.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Yes you never know what you find out once you start researching. Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving anyway.

      Reply
  3. Roux

    Hi Helen, thanks for sharing. Even though Thanksgiving is not a tradition in my country I know many Americans who live here and how important it is to them. I like your affirmation: “I life is good and I am grateful”. We seem to be interested in a similar theme.I like your site. It is really well laid out!

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Thank you for your comments. Yes thanksgiving is a special time the USA it is the start of the holiday season. Today is all about Christmas now LOL

      Reply
  4. Diego

    Hi Helen, thanks for writing a very informative post. I live in Australia and had no idea what thanks giving was about. I’m very grateful for living in Australia and I know how lucky I am because I grew up in Uruguay until I was 12. Thank you for writing such a positive post

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      You are welcome,I spent 10 years in Adelaide myself, love Australia. Thanks for the comments.

      Reply
  5. FFF

    What a great read, thanks for the history lesson. Although you are right, the hype and commercialism of Christmas has spilled over into our Thanksgiving holiday with all of the Black Friday hype.
    But this is one of my favorite times of the year. It brings our family together and helps to drive home the idea, to my children, of being grateful for all we have. And to remember the things that make us truly blessed. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Very true, it is a great time to teach the young what being grateful for the small things in life are really about. Enjoy your thanksgiving and as long as we can keep the origin of thanksgiving and some of the history as part of the celebration perhaps the young will pass it on too.

      Reply
  6. Sarah Prince

    The thing I love about Thanksgiving is that it’s a holiday for everyone because it’s not tied to a race or religion. Gathering around for happy memories is way better than shopping or even the food. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helen Vella (Post author)

      Totally agree – enjoy your thanksgiving time whatever you are doing.

      Reply

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