The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, oil on canvas, 1914 by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe
A little Thanksgiving History:
The very “first Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the first English settlers (Pilgrims) of the Plymouth Colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was celebrated after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. It was a day for giving thanks, prayer, feasting, spending time with family, football games, and parades. However, in 1863 during the American Civil War, the United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to become a federal holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Later, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, and so it is up to date.
In many other countries like my lovely Uganda, we used to have Thanksgiving Day (Amakungula-Harvesting) which had faded out. Luckily enough, now it is getting revived due to the western cultural influence. With all things going into our daily lives, we do not get a chance to appreciate a million things that we are grateful for. This is why this day is so important, you get to appreciate family, relatives, and friends.
Dear parents and relatives.
I am so grateful, for you brought us into this world, watched us take our first step, say our first word and even endure the so many questions we had to ask, yet you never got tired or gave up on us. Together with our dear relatives, you make our families complete, you make us have a sense of belonging, hence a saying “East or West, Home is The Best”. It would not be home with you in it.
To friends and special ones.
No man is an island, eventually, we have to leave our nest. So, along the way, we come across so many people in our lives. Some are just passing through and others come to stay. The later always have the most impact on our lives. Most of the times those who stay become friends who support us when we are far away from relatives. You make us realize that there a life to live even when you are far from your relatives. Even better, some end up becoming that special person in our lives and that makes one complete. Now, if you have that person, tell him/her how much you appreciated him/her being part of your life. Even when you think that they know, they need to hear that from you.
Humanitarians and peace markers.
To all those that sacrifice their lives so that others can dream the dream and live the dream. We are so grateful for your sacrifice. You make the world a better place to live. Together with peace activities, people who open their homes so that a stranger can have a shelter or food, and the donors who even never get a chance to see the person on the side of the receiving end. Not forgetting those that speak up for injustices, our teachers, co-workers, business partners, coaches, spiritual directors, counselors, doctors, well-wishers, employers and any worker especial those that work in the background. You all bring the best out of us.
To you all my dear readers.
Take a moment and think about all those things you are grateful for. A lot of times we take people for granted because we see them every single day and never pose to imagine what life could be with them. Even if you have issues/problems or something bothering you, remember there is always someone doing worse. Sometimes what you saw as a problem turns out to be the best opportunity that led you where you are today. Before you complain about eating the food you don’t like, think about that homeless person with nothing to eat. Walking is too tiresome, try talking to that guy who lost a limb or if you think life is so hard, just remember that person carrying his oxygen tank trying to enjoy every bit of second he has to live.
The thing is, there are a million things one must be thankful about. So, when you get a chance to spend Thanksgiving with your loved ones, give them a huge hug or a kiss or a gift and let them know how important they are in your life and that you so grateful that they always make your life special.
A very happy Thanksgiving/ Turkey Day to Y’all my dears. Life would be boring without you in it.