Freedom from Want Norman Rockwell
Most older Americans remember the sense of anticipation that accompanied our celebration of Thanksgiving Day. As elementary school children we cut turkeys out of construction paper, along with pilgrim-style hats and Indian headdresses. School bulletin boards were festooned with these painstakingly handcrafted art works, and parents sat through a series of major cute school plays.
Thanksgiving was also the official kickoff for Advent and Christmas and we all watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on our black and white televisions. It was a lot of fun and something we all celebrated together. Most businesses and government workers get the day off, along with the day following Thanksgiving (78% in 2007). That's changing now, but we all still recognize the importance of the day.
In the modern era, Thanksgiving Day became a federal holiday on December 26, 1941, when President Roosevelt set the 4th Thursday in November as the "official" day. Before then, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in speeches by Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and by various state governments throughout our history. Legend, mixed with a historical facts, grounded the feast in the early Massachusetts colony...along, of course, with all that collective work in our elementary school days.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. This year, our son and daughter-in-law are coming for the event, along with some friends of nearly 25 years standing. A great cause of extra celebration this year is that our son's family will be moving to Berryville sometime in the near future. That fine happening, along with a year of good health and few worries, has made this time one to be truly thankful for.
I wish each and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! God bless!