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Things To Be Thankful For

Things To Be Thankful For
by Jennifer LB Leese

Thanksgiving is in a few days. Soon the house will be filled with Thanksgiving smells-- turkey roasting in the oven, savory pumpkin pie resting in the warming drawer beside hot loaves of bread, corn pudding browning, honey-glazed carrots simmering, mashed potatoes steaming, chilled cranberries... My mouth waters just thinking about it.
No matter where we celebrate Thanksgiving, childhood memories always come flooding back. Almost all of us remember November school days when tracing our hands to make colorful construction paper turkeys, acting out the first Thanksgiving, and reading about Pilgrims, the early Mayflower settlers.
As we grow older, Thanksgiving Day has changed from chasing cousins and siblings around in the leaf-strewn yard with coats, scarves, and mittens keeping us warm to helping out in the kitchen or watching a football game (after the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade, of course).
Every person celebrates Thanksgiving in a different way--each appreciated, cherished, and remembered.
For many children Thanksgiving is a holiday when there's no school and they get to laze around with family members waiting for the tryptophan to kick in, as adults we've learned the real significance of those early stories. Thanksgiving is a holiday when family and friends gather to give thanks for shared blessings. Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to appreciate the good things we've been given.
In its tradition, Thanksgiving was a day to give thanks for blessings and to the harvest bestowed upon us. Today, the legal holiday of Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.
The origin of Thanksgiving came from the Pilgrims who first celebrated the event in October of 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts with a three-day Harvest festival, featuring a great bounty of geese, turkeys, ducks, eels, cod, bass and clams in addition to corn, leeks, and cornbread with the native Wampanoag people, without whom they would not have survived the winter of 1620.
The hope to worship in religious freedom drove the Pilgrims to leave England to seek a new life in a distant land. Thanksgiving was one of the legacies they left behind.
Throughout history, there have been many thanksgiving proclamations and celebrations. George Washington, the first U.S. president, was also first to proclaim a National Thanksgiving Day in 1789. Thomas Jefferson, the third president, dismissed it as nothing more than "a kingly practice."
Abraham Lincoln saw the light that transcended "kingliness," and proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.
The reflection upon the history of the Pilgrims and the Thanksgiving holiday gives us a connection to our past and appreciation for the celebration today.
I'm thankful for the man I love. And thankful that he loves me. He proves this everyday--showing me in a million ways.
I'm thankful for my children. They're kind-hearted, intelligent, healthy, giving, and loving--all a mother could ever ask for. They are a wonderful addition to the future.
I'm thankful for my family--those I see everyday and those I see a few times a year.
I'm thankful for police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical personnel, and others who serve the public in times of crisis. We saw them tested in New York, but we see these people doing the same thing, every day in our own hometown.
I'm thankful I was raised to care about people, and the impact my actions have on others. I think it was a wonderful gift, which now seems almost extinct--well, certainly endangered.
I'm thankful for the friends who are there when I need them and those who are not. Modern society keeps us all hustling and bustling leaving us little time for mingling; friends seem to suffer the most.
I'm thankful for our pets. Of course, only those who feel a bond between their pets can fully understand this thankfulness. Pets give us so much, but it's so easy to take them for granted.
What are you thankful for?

What are you thankful for?

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