Finally, the house was quiet and I was relaxing 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 that finished a few moments ago.
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?
It is clear to me that 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 Mothers, however, had some different thoughts about this crazy feast idea.
The 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.
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 ocean 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.
Have you ever noticed that 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?
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 Mother's 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. The Pilgrim Fathers braved through the stinging rebukes from their wives...for months.
They guests that the Pilgrim Fathers invited were none other than the Native Americans. After all, whom else could they invite?
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.
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. 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 it together.
At Thanksgiving, we should bring a bouquet of blessing filling the room with a sweet fragrance of praise that lingers 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 blessing that truly sustains 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, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus? (Philippians 4:18-19 KJV).
Short note about the author
James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living with his wife, Martha, in Ocala, Florida and can be contacted at [email protected]