We all have something to be thankful for -- and what better time of year to show our gratitude than the national Thanksgiving holiday. But do you know where this holiday originated? Most of us were taught that pilgrims and native americans gathered around the dinner table together and broke bread. This is a story that the big screen hasn't yet jumped on, but might one day, so knowing the history is a step in the right direction . . . not to mention a fun fact with which you can awe your trivia competitors!
The first thanksgiving in the early 1600s was a feast to celebrate the Pilgrims who had not only survived the devastating illnesses of their first winter in the new land, but also had a successful harvest. The Pilgrims gleaned this harvest by following the Native American model of working the land, but they did not eat turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie -- and they most certainly didn't have butter! Their feast was made of fish, corn, berries, fruit, clams, lobster, and vinison [sounds pretty good to me].
Many years later in 1789, George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving. The holiday still was not widely appreciated, however, until magazine editor and writer Sarah Josepha Hale wrote editorials and letters in Boston Lady's Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book. After forty years of her persistent efforts, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November the official day of thanks. In 1941, Congress sanctioned the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, our National holiday.
Whether you are gathering to give thanks for a year of plenty, or just to watch football and chill with your family, use this time to give thanks to those around you personally and professionally who enrich your life. Celebrate your possibilities, your triumphs, and even your challenges while knowing that they will keep you growing into bigger and better adventures. I also encourage you to take into consideration those who have less to celebrate. Giving back to the community around you is the best way to give thanks and grow as an individual and as a talent!