Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day was officially signed into law on December 26, 1941, at the request of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a legal holiday for the fourth Thursday in November.

But did you know that President George Washington proclaimed November 26, 1789, as the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in America? Later, Abraham Lincoln made a presidential proclamation in 1863 for a day of thanks to be the final Thursday in November. He was attempting to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, although it wasn’t until the 1870s that the day finally took hold.

And let’s not forget how the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition was started. We can trace this holiday to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, Massachusetts. This event was prompted by a good harvest by the Pilgrims. But it wasn’t until the late 1660s that the practice of holding an annual harvest celebration becomes a regular affair.

Nowadays, Thanksgiving Day is a time for gathering at a special someone’s house or enjoying the meal at home with your immediate family with the knowledge that a bigger gathering and celebration will happen over the weekend, when other relatives are able to come together at Grandma’s house.

I am thankful that I can celebrate this day with my husband and my sons. I am thankful that God provides a way in this not-so-great economic time for us to gather together at the table and thank God for what we have—family. I also enjoy watching my husband and sons eat my cooking joyfully and having leftovers to share with a very large pit bull and sneaking some turkey to a cat without the pit bull noticing.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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