Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with family and friends and give thanks for our many blessings. While much has changed in the 390 years since the first Thanksgiving, coming home to a simpler life remains at the heart of the holiday.
America’s first Thanksgiving in 1621 was born out of an expression of gratefulness for a bountiful harvest. The New World settlers and the local Native Americans joined together for a three day celebration featuring feasting, singing and dancing.
More than 150 years later, President Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day as a time to rejoice a young nation’s freedom and liberty. After falling out of favor, the holiday was reborn by President Lincoln in 1863 as a time to unite a country torn apart by civil war.
Today, Southwest Michigan families will gather to enjoy turkey, watch parades and football games and honor other family traditions.
In the modern, global, 24/7 digital world, the spirit of Thanksgiving might be more important than ever. It is a moment to take the weight of the world off our shoulders, connect with our loved ones and celebrate the most cherished thing we have: one another.
In the bustle of the holiday, I hope we will all take time to warmly express our gratitude to our family and friends for their love and friendship throughout the year and to give thanks for the blessing of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
May God bless you and fill your hearts and homes with love.