Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1, NIV)
We’ve breathed this verse countless times, maybe even sang it. And, to be honest, the words roll off our tongues with greater enthusiasm and velvety smoothness when all is well in our lives.
But just as in 1621, few people today would say all is well. Conflict between ethnic groups then and now? Check. Disease, poverty, fear? Yep. Dawn of the winter season? Same. Reason to gather together and celebrate? The 1621 people of Plymouth would give a resounding yes.
Contradictory reports vary the number of settlers, including the number of men, women, and children, and the number of native Americans who celebrated the first three-day Thanksgiving feast. The month in which the first feast took place is even in question. What we do know to be true is that two different groups of people came together, shared what they had, and enjoyed themselves. Thankfully, those three facts are indisputable because we have several near-four hundred-year-old, eyewitness, handwritten accounts.
How will history record our Thanksgiving feasts? While we may be distanced from each other this year, we can keep the gift of thankfulness alive. And like the first Thanksgiving, rather than dwelling on differences and obstacles, let’s enjoy the blessings we’ve been given.
To capture the essence of this holiday, and to remember what’s most important, I asked friends new and old to contribute their Thanksgiving stories. I hope you hear the love and joy each memory evokes…
One of my funniest Thanksgiving memories had to do with my mother’s fantastic rolls. They were rising everywhere – even on a living room sofa. A cousin who shall remain nameless, but his initials are P.B., came in our house and sat on them. All bets were off after that and, as I remember, we laughed the day away (while we ate, of course)! Fun times! (by Erma Ullrey)
When I was a little girl my mom and her entire family shared one Thanksgiving together. She had six brothers and sisters, and they all had children. There were so many of us we extended the tables and chairs into the garage. It was the best Thanksgiving. (by Susan A Lamb)
A different time. But we all looked forward to high school football on Thanksgiving Day. Some we won some we lost. Just like the wishbone between brothers some he won, some I won. But I don’t remember the wishes. Oh yes, there was one. I wanted to marry I Dream of Jeannie … sure disappointed. But I still to this day believe in Santa. (by Don Demarest)
One of my best Thanksgivings ever, I soaked in a tub and read a book while my kids made the entire meal. They were in high school & junior high & only asked me to set the table. LOL. I figured I finally worked myself out of a job! My kids (5) are all foodies & loved to cook, so they took over the entire meal. It was fabulous & still is. My job since is only to set the table. Thankful for a house full of great chefs! (by K Denise Holmberg)
They run together, but the gist is big family dinners with the football game afterward. There was the year some very young second cousins ran their fingers thru the frosted cakes. (by Mary Pat Johns)
My mom was in the kitchen basting our turkey. My very fussy Aunts and Uncles were in the living room. Our house was the Old Homestead where my dad and his sisters were born… I went into the kitchen to help mom when the turkey slipped and fell into our new puppy’s basket next to the stove. Thankfully the dog was not in it… I ran to tell my dad that Mom needed help in the kitchen … at that point my mom was in tears … my dad stepped in, grabbed the bird, put it under running water, and gave it a bath. He told my mom to just put it back in the pan and keep basting. Well my fussy Aunts said it was the best turkey ever. We still have a good laugh on the day my mom and dad saved Thanksgiving. (by Cathy Singer Dolan)
A couple of years ago, we saw my husband’s brother and his family for the first time in almost a year at Thanksgiving. We’d never gone that long between visits. They stayed at our house for a couple of days before moving on to other family. We played games, went to an escape room, and ate a lot of food. Our kids are close and we all had the best time together. (by Hilary Hamblin)
So many fond memories of my mom and dad and our entire family together for a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner! I wish I could go back even for a minute to just enjoy the moment. I carry on the family tradition with all the Holidays and Sunday dinners! When I was young and living on Jackson Ave. my mom invited my Aunt Kitty Cornetto and Uncle Sal and their 5 kids for Thanksgiving!! Well…the fight over who got the legs of the turkey got so out of hand my mom and aunt had to scream and yell to calm all the kids down!! It was really funny! (by Bernadette Bargiel-Zisa)
I would have to say my favorite Thanksgiving was the year 2015 when our son and his wife hosted and when we went around the table to say what we were thankful for. Our daughter and her husband said they were thankful for baby number 4 on the way! Surprise! (And it definitely was!) But oh that sweet Miss Jubilee Plum has just stolen our hearts! (by Sue Ronning)
Thank you, friends, for sharing your Thanksgiving stories with us. Happy Thanksgiving! God bless American and God bless you.
By Amre Cortadino
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