Posted by: kulanjiyil | November 23, 2011


The last Thursday of November is observed in the United States as a day of Thanksgiving. On October 03, 1863, in his presidential proclamation, Abraham Lincoln made the following assertion:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
For most people in this country, Thanksgiving is a family event. On this day, families from different parts of the country get together. How Thanksgiving is celebrated varies from families to families, but common to all is that it is an exclusive family affair. Family members plan for this day in advance, and they come to catch up with each other, to share stories and experiences with one another, and to share a common meal. Traditional thanksgiving dinner consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, olives, and cranberries, baked pumpkin and apple pie. Thanksgiving dinner is often a reminder of the first Thanksgiving the Pilgrims shared with Wampanoag Indians as an autumn harvest feast in 1621. Thanksgiving is a memento of the divine care, protection, and the bounty of rich harvest the pilgrims enjoyed in their newly adopted country. It’s a time of expressing gratitude to God, together with the family.
As an immigrant family, do you have a family tradition of Thanksgiving? Remember the day you first arrived in the United States and what it was for you to transition to the new social, cultural environment! Many of you have great stories to tell; stories of struggles and difficulties, and then stories of success, achievements, and prosperity. Are you grateful for the divine help you received all through the way? Are you thankful to those who extended helping hands at times of need? Do you want to share some of your experiences and memories with your family, and create a thanksgiving tradition of your own? Do you want to encourage and inspire your family with an attitude of thankfulness?
I trust that families will seize this opportunity to connect with as many family members as possible. Let this season of Thanksgiving be truly a time of joyous family celebration for all of my readers. Happy Thanksgiving!


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