Is a very special holiday, for it is national, religious, and nonsectarian. It has, so far, escaped-most of the commercialism that surrounds Christmas.
And it is particularly a family holiday, a time for home-coming. I have always loved the exciting, wonderful Christmas celebration, although more and more I hear people saying they wish it were over because they are so tired.
But Thanksgiving does mean the giving of thanks to God, and it is a holiday belonging only to our country, reminding us of the Pilgrims who found a day in the midst of their battle for survival to praise God and ask for tor His blessing.
The traditional turkey has lost its grandeur since turkey is available any time of the year. There isn’t anything special about vegetables out of season either, for they are always in stock along with fruit and mincemeat for pies. But the gathering of families around the table has the beauty of tradition this day.
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING DAY
A very long, long time ago
In England far away
Were Pilgrim folks who thought it wise
To leave their homes one day,
That they might find another land
Where free they all would be
To build a church of their own choice
And worship peacefully.
To freedom, then, across the sea
And westward many a week
They sailed the sturdy Mayflower
In weather rough and bleak.
The voyage, was a dreary one,
The days were long and gray,
And restless children on the ship
Found little room to play.
At last the Pilgrims sighted land.
America, they found, where they could live
and Worship God
Upon that precious ground.
With homes to build and fields to plow
Their plans were swiftly laid.
It was not very long before
A village they had made.
The colored leaves began to tail;
The ducks and geese ﬂew high;
The setting sun hung’ red and low
Along the western sky.
While autumn’s rich mellow days
Were at their very best,
The Pilgrims then proclaimed a day
To worship, feast, and rest.
Oh, what a hustle! What a stir!
To plan the feast and bake
The puddings, pies, and loaves of bread,
And even johnnycake,
To roast the turkeys and the deer,
To bake the clams they found.
The air was filled with luscious smells
From kitchens all around.
And then the Indian guests arrived
To share the heaping trays;
Their fellowship was Heaven blest,
And friends they all did stay.
The time to feast had come at last
And then a time for play,
All underneath the autumn sun
That first Thanksgiving day.