It seems as though Halloween ended and Christmas began. When and why did we abandon Thanksgiving?
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated because the Pilgrims were thankful for surviving the previous year; thankful to the Lord and to the local Indians for their help.
The Pilgrims landed with 116 passengers at Cape Cod about Nov. 9, 1620. Following the winter of 1620-1621, only half of the passengers and crew survived.
In the spring of 1621, an Indian named Squanto came and kindly taught these settlers how to live off the land, catch fish and plant corn and other local crops.
In the fall, when the crops had been harvested, Gov. William Bradford declared a Harvest Feast for both the settlers and the native Indians.
The settlers hunted fowl and the Indians brought deer to the feast while the women cooked up some delicious dishes. While we know about the venison, fish and fowl, there was probably a type of corn bread, as well as local vegetables that the Indians had taught the settlers how to plant and harvest.
Different sorts of tree nuts may have been harvested and used in various recipes. Since there was no wheat or butter, pies wouldn't have been included, and the beverage of the day would have likely been water.
The feast lasted for three days, according to the Smithsonian Magazine’s website. Think of how full we'd be if we ate Thanksgiving dinner for three days.
Thanksgiving was recognized in 1777 by a Proclamation of the Continental Congress. It states, "November 1, 1777: FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence...."
In 1863, President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving an official national holiday. Let's not overlook Thanksgiving since it is an important day to show gratitude and thankfulness for our bounty.
Wednesday, Nov. 15, there will be a community Harvest Dinner at First Baptist Church, 3972 Second Street, Laurel Hill, hosted by Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church at 6 p.m.
The community is invited; please bring food to share. A wonderful time is always enjoyed at this dinner.
Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.