Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. Henry van Dyke Jr.
While every day is another opportunity to practice thankfulness, Thanksgiving is an American holiday of gratitude. We give thanks as a country for all the gifts we have.
Our American history tells us that the very first Thanksgiving celebrations were in 1621 (the colony of Plymouth, in present-day Massachusetts) and in Virginia in 1619. Those early celebrations were feasts to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest. Since 1942, Thanksgiving has been celebrated the fourth Thursday of November. This was by Presidential Proclamation -2571 Thanksgiving Day by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 23, 2017.
Traditionally the holiday brings families and friends together. For most this includes a feast. We give thanks and appreciation for all the year has brought. For many the holiday includes travel. The six days around the holiday make it the busiest travel time of the year. It has also become the unofficial day that begins the holiday season.
American Thanksgiving traditions in no order: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, harvest, preparing favorite family recipes together, Turkey Day, grade school children preparing “hand-print turkeys”, overabundance of pies, groaning sideboards of Thanksgiving side dishes, cranberries, football, after dinner movies, shopping, gratitude for all who serve, giving back to the community, feeding others, family time, remembering family members no longer with us, travel, Thanksgiving breakfast, feasts,thankfulness and prayer.
Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping and Celebrating
In 2011, many retailers decided to open on Thanksgiving Day. This was an attempt to lure in excited Black Friday shoppers that couldn’t wait until the next morning. Best Buy, Walmart and Big Lots are open on the holiday. But most small local retail businesses are closed. Generally speaking, Black Friday Sales begin early morning on the day after Thanksgiving. Retail stores offer incredible shopping deals to early birds. If you are one of the first in line. Now the weekend starts with Black Friday Sales, followed by Small Business Saturday, (encouraging people to support small, local business) and ends with Cyber Monday Deals (internet sales).