Thanksgiving Day, as celebrated in North America, is a time to gather with family and
friends to give thanks for the many blessings enjoyed by these nations and their citizens.
However, to many people, its meaning is lost. It has become simply another day for huge
meals, dinner parties, get-togethers or reunions. What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
Turkey dinners, cranberries, candied yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and
family gatherings—these are all commonly associated with most Americans' and Canadians'
yearly celebration of giving thanks—Thanksgiving Day!
In the United States, Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada,
it is the second Monday in October.
On this holiday, a Thanksgiving meal is prepared with all the trimmings; families gather
together and talk, while others watch a game or a parade filled with pilgrims, Indians and
other colonial figures. Some families may even have their own yearly Thanksgiving traditions.
What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Do you picture a time of
thankfulness towards God—or is it merely one of eating, partying or watching football?
Sadly, the latter is what Thanksgiving has become to most. They have forgotten why the
day was established.
Its meaning has slowly deteriorated, and is now almost completely lost under a cloud
of media hype, sales pitches, marketing tactics and blitz commercialism.
While many are familiar with the traditional representation of the original Thanksgiving,
it is helpful to examine the purpose for which it was first celebrated. By doing this, the day's
meaning will be firmly established.