In the beginning of time the Hebrews would give thanks the first fruits of their harvest to their God. Thanking Him for their bountiful harvest. The Pilgrims continued the giving of thanks for their harvest. Still today we thank the Lord God Almighty for our Bountiful life and harvest.
In 1620 the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth (now in the state of Maine). It was the first ship to arrive and many others were to come in the next following years. In autumn of 1621 the Governor of the pilgrims sent a message to have a special day to meet together to rejoice. Being Christians,(followers of Christ, Gods' only Son) I think it was part of the thankfulness of their first year harvest. Thanking the Lord God for his protection and their food. Winter was coming again and they were storing up and batting down. We know the time frame due to some letters we had from that time. Some of the Mayflower folks also did not make it to the first Thanksgiving celebration. Of the 102 first passengers of the Mayflower to arrive in America. Only 53 made it to celebrate the First Thanksgiving, In the autumn of 1621.
Now in 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared:
.....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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
So our Thanksgiving celebrations began all around the Nations. Solely based on giving thanks to God Almighty for the blessing he has bestowed on each one of us.
So Now question to you today is:
Do you, at your Family gathering, on your "Thanksgiving Day" do something special with the family?
We will go around the table and have everyone answer a question" What are you thankful for the year?". My Mother started that at our table. We always had a guess or two and they still had to answer the question.. then My Dad would give thanks to the Lord God Almighty and we would eat.