Finally, quietness reigned throughout the house while I relaxed in my favorite recliner musing on the activities of the day. Just a few hours previous, the house was clamoring with the noise of my family celebrating another Thanksgiving Day together. My wife is in the kitchen putting the final touches on the cleanup activity.
Everyone has different ideas about Thanksgiving. My wife, for example, enjoys all of the planning that goes into this special day. I, on the other hand, enjoy the memories.
Reflecting on the day, my mind focused on a curious thought. What was that first Thanksgiving all about? How did it all come to be?
Clearly, our Pilgrim Fathers came up with the idea of a Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrim Mothers were too busy doing the wash and caring for the children to think of any more work.
I can imagine the Pilgrim Fathers sitting around waiting for someone to invent television so they could all watch a football game when someone had an idea. Most ideas are born in the midst of great boredom, which is why so many of them are ... well ... stupid.
“There’s nothing to do,” one really bored Pilgrim Father said. “Let’s get together and have a feast.” Because nothing else was happening, the other Pilgrim Fathers got excited about this idea. The Pilgrim Fathers wanted to have a tailgate party but nobody had invented a pickup truck. The Pilgrim Mothers, however, had some different thoughts about this crazy feast idea.
Pilgrim Mothers wanted a Tupperware party, but since it was not yet a two-party system, they could only do one party. The Pilgrim Fathers won this one. But at what cost?
However, like the good Puritan wives they were, they humored their husbands and began preparations for the first Thanksgiving feast.
What the Pilgrim Mothers did not count on was company for dinner. After all, they were thousands of miles from their nearest relatives with a big pond between them.
They assumed, and rightly so, they were safe from the intrusion of company on what would be the heaviest workday for the kitchen crew. Everybody knows that when company comes, company never offers to help with the cleanup. After all, they are guests, invited or not.
Have you ever noticed when you are planning a feast of some kind, relatives who never bother you the rest of the year (something to be thankful for) seem to gravitate to your gravy bowl? Some people have a nose for trouble while most relatives have a nose for roast turkey and pumpkin pie.
There is nothing like unexpected company to put pizzazz in a Thanksgiving celebration. And who wants pizza for Thanksgiving when there is so much turkey?
Imagine the Pilgrim Mothers’ surprise when the Pilgrim Fathers told them (probably on Thanksgiving morning) that they had invited guests for the feast.
I can imagine some ears were roasted that first Thanksgiving Day, and not the corn on the menu. The Pilgrim Fathers braved through the stinging rebukes from their wives ... for months … maybe years.
The guests that the Pilgrim Fathers invited were none other than the Native Americans. After all, whom else could they invite? The great immigration to America had not yet begun.
The history books do not record this, but I have every reason to suspect the Native Americans at the time had a different view about this Thanksgiving Day feast. The primary reason they all came on this particular day was the assumption, and probably the language barrier created some of this confusion what with the Pilgrims always using words like “thee” and “thou,” that this was a going-away party for the Pilgrims.
Imagine the Native American’s surprise when they got their invitation the following year for another Thanksgiving Feast celebration. “When,” one chief said at his council, “will these illegal immigrants go back?”
Regardless of its genesis, Thanksgiving is a marvelous revelation of things we can be thankful for all year long. Most of the time all we hear is the bad news. The contemporary news media, both broadcast and print, has made an art out of reporting bad news. It is good for us take one day out of the year, at least, and concentrate on good news.
Thanksgiving is a marvelous time for family and friends to get together to celebrate the goodness of the Lord. Each family has its own special tradition that seems to bring them together.
At Thanksgiving, we should bring a bouquet of blessing filling the room with a sweet fragrance of praise that will linger all year long.
Some of the best and most fragrant bouquets are the small ones. Remembering the big blessings is easy. The smaller blessings are much harder to keep in mind.
This Thanksgiving, make a point to look over some blessing you have been overlooking. It is those small blessings that truly sustain us throughout the year.
”But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:18-19 KJV.)
Some complain about what they don’t have and fail to rejoice in what they really have. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”