Thanksgiving 2017 1THANKSGIVING 2017

As we hit this holiday season. I think we all should take a time and reflect on several things. First, we need to realize what we have to be thankful for; FAMILY, FRIENDS, HEALTH.

Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America. Peoples throughout the centuries have taken time for this ritual celebration of the harvest.

In the US, we believe the traditional feast was more formally celebrated in 1630 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and gradually expanded to other colonies. Over the last 4 centuries the tradition has been built upon. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777. In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863. During periods of war, the nation has always tried to reach out to our men and women in the service to bring a bit of home to them.

It is one of the most heavily traveled days as people strive to have family reunions. We now celebrate with parades, football games and the traditional Presidential pardon of a bird. One of the worst traditions is that the day brings the commercial fervor of Black Friday.

The second thing we need to reflect on is the need to help one another. What we should realize is the assistance the Pilgrims received from the natives. Without their help, it is likely they would not have survived. Native Americans, like those in the Wampanoag tribe, taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit had given food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. We should all take the time to harken back to the early days of our country and know these early settlers needed help to survive. We are in the same position to help our fellow citizens of this country. Many need help with just the basics to survive, no different from the early settlers.

We at Sunset Creek focus on community service through involvement with various organizations. We are very happy to continue the tradition at this time of year of donating to those in need, just like the Native Americans did for the early settlers. We encourage all who read this to please do the same in some manner.

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