Sunday, November 22, 2020

There's Thanks in Giving!


By Marcia King-Gamble

I don’t know about you, but frankly I am sick to death of posts about COVID.  They’ve been done ad nauseam and all they do is leave me feeling depressed. We know about the surge in COVID. We know about the lives lost. We know about the importance of wearing a mask in public. No amount of reminding, or lecturing, makes people who are socially irresponsible, become so overnight. They are who they are.

In 2020, more than ever, people have shown us their true selves. I’ve lost supposed friends over this pandemic, and I’ve lost friends over their choice of political party. I respect everyone’s right to vote for a particular candidate, but don’t stuff your beliefs down my throat, and don’t show your disrespect or true feelings in public posts. Your commentary on social media conflicts with what you say to my face. The accompanying ugly cartoons are downright offensive and tell me who you really are. Enough said! This is supposed to be a positive post.

In this month of “Giving” I had to think long and hard about what I’d post. For far too long the true meaning of Thanksgiving has been overlooked.  That fourth Thursday in November has become another of those commercial holidays, where the prime focus is on food and not at all on being Thankful or Grateful for what you have.  The commercials focus on food and family seated around beautifully decorated tables.  But what about gratitude and an appreciation for just being able to provide your family with that food?

There truly is so much to be thankful for.  Food, we have an abundance of, and there are options for those less fortunate, like food pantries and kitchens. Most of us have families who support us, and friends we can rely on. Worst case scenario, we have that option of using the Internet to connect.  Yet over time, Thanksgiving has become more about tablescaping and presenting that huge turkey with all the excessive trimmings. The leftovers more often than not end up in the trash, and then back to our daily lives.

How did it get here?  How did we become a society that takes Thanksgiving for granted? Let’s look at how it all began, and in so doing, dispel some the myths. Contrary to popular belief, and what was taught in school, Thanksgiving was not an annual celebration that began in 1621, nor was it the start of an annual tradition. In fact, there had been similar bountiful gatherings in other colonies earlier that year. 

On Thursday, November 26, 1789, George Washington declared that day a holiday, but only for that year. His decision did not in any way connect it to the Pilgrim feast, although it was promoted as a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer.”

Many, many, years later, 19th century author, poet, and magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, who was highly patriotic, read about the 1621 feast of the Pilgrims. She then began publishing in Godey’s Lady’s Book, recipes for turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, and she began lobbying to get President Abraham Lincoln to declare the day a national holiday. Sarah used her magazine to gain public support, until finally in 1863, the 4th Thursday in November, was declared an official holiday.

In 1939, President Franklin D Roosevelt moved it back to the third Thursday in November. This decision was supposedly made to help the economy and extend the Christmas shopping season. But there was so much opposition, two years later, he changed it back to the fourth Thursday of the month.

Even back then it was less about being thankful and more about commerce and money.

Given the year we’ve had, won’t it be nice to go back to what this holiday was designed to be, a day of public thanks and prayers? Shouldn’t we be thankful for waking up to see another day, and having the ability to put food on the table? Shouldn’t we be grateful that we’re not staring across the table at drunk Uncle Jack chewing with his mouth open, or having to listen politely to the neighbor making bigoted comments they don’t even know is bigoted?  More importantly, shouldn’t we be thankful for good health, not being at war and a vaccine on the horizon?

To thank my readers, I am inviting you to post pictures of your tablescaping (even if dinner is just for one or two) on my Facebook author page.

The winner receives a $15 Amazon gift card, and I will match that amount with a gift to St. Jude.

To be eligible to win you can sign up for my newsletter here or show proof of purchase of any of my books on Amazon or B&N.  You can upload the receipt when you upload your pics. Make sure your credit card info is not visible if you do.

Gotta be in it to win it. Bless you all!

About Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales when she can, and caring for her animal family who keep her sane.

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  1. Thanks, Marcia for posting about the holiday. I hope you get to enjoy yours in whatever way you celebrate.

    1. Thanks Nora. Attending a small gathering of friends. My host is a doctor. Go figure.

  2. Yes, Thanksgiving should absolutely be about giving thanks and appreciating what you DO have. And not about the food or pretty decorations on the table.

  3. So very true Kari unfortunately that has fallen by the wayside somehow.

  4. This was such an interesting post! And that is a really cool contest. I plan on having some decorations, but I doubt mine will be worthy of winning!

  5. Beautiful post, Marcia. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving Joan. Thanks for your kind words.

  7. A wonderful post. I didn't know that about FDR changing the date. I love that there are always things to learn! Have a blessed holiday!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Liz and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I am always a source of useless information. It's that inquiring mind of mine.

  8. I’ve always seen thanksgiving as a day of thanks for a bountiful harvest...hence all the food. But that could be in Canada. I need to research the origins because the Pilgrims weren’t here. Hmm

  9. Bonnie I wish more people were more like you. Continue to be thankful for a bountiful life.

  10. So Thanksgiving is really a holiday inspired by a lady trying to promote her cookbook? LOL!!! Good thoughts, Marcia!

  11. LOL Hannah speaking of commerce, marketing and promotion. Forward thinking woman.


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