A Thanksgiving Timeline

The Pilgrims are credited for starting the tradition of Thanksgiving in 1621, but how did it become a national holiday?

What follows is a quick timeline of the evolution of Thanksgiving from a tradition to being an official holiday celebrated on a specific date.

*November 23, 1775 – The Revolutionary War was seven months old, and patriots in Boston called for a “Day of Public Thanksgiving to be held in the colony of Massachusetts to celebrate their “Rights and Privileges” despite the attempts of their “barbarous Enemies” to deprive them of such.” It was a very anti-British celebration.

*December 18, 1777 – The war was still going strong, but to celebrate the victory of American Continental forces in the Battle of Saratoga, General George Washington called for Thursday, December 18 to be a day in which to engage in “Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise.” For the first time, all thirteen colonies participated.

*In 1879, President Washington called for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Congress agreed, but did not declare an official holiday.

Thomas Jefferson, our third president, believed that a Thanksgiving holiday was a violation of the separation of church and state, so there was no official day of thanksgiving between 1815 and 1863.

*In 1846 Sarah Josephina Hale, the editor of Gody’s Lady’s Book, began a 17-year letter writing campaign in support of an official national Thanksgiving holiday. In September of 1863, she wrote to Abraham Lincoln, imploring him to set an official day for thanksgiving.

*October 3, 1863 – President Lincoln, in a bid to heal a the nation during the Civil War, announced: ”I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe he last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”  

Lincoln proclaimed that the official Thanksgiving day would be the last Thursday in November. Sarah Josephina Hale was 74 years old, but lived to see the official holiday she’d fought so hard for.

*In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt, by executive order, moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November, in order to allow more shopping days until Christmas. (Thanksgiving fell on November 30 that year.) The new holiday was called Franksgiving by those who were opposed. There was such an outcry that Congress officially moved Thanksgiving back to the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains today.

Please everyone, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes,

Jeannie

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. I love the old New England version of Thanksgiving with the turkey and stuffing and potatoes and all the trimmings, minus green bean casserole. (No offense, green beans, but I don’t like them mushy!)

Cranberry and orange relish…

Eggnog.

Apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie, banana cream pie, cream puffs.

I love a great dessert table after a beautiful meal, mostly because we spend summer and fall living on burgers and sandwiches and whatever we can grab quickly because there’s little time for fussing. So it’s fun to fuss on Thanksgiving and there are a whole bunch of us helping.

Now we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday (today). We do the family Thanksgiving tomorrow so that my kids with in-laws aren’t split by two hours at one house, two hours at another, and then two hours at another. So today whoever is at our house baking for tomorrow will have Chicken French and Artichoke French and for the two fellows who don’t love those, we’ll throw a steak on the grill….

That picture is two years old, but you get the idea… All hands on deck for baking!

And then tomorrow, tradition reigns.

I love seeing family all get together, but it happens rarely with a couple of kids far away, so whenever it happens, we celebrate! It doesn’t have to be a holiday because anytime I’ve got my kids around is a holiday.  And that’s even when we’re grabbing bologna sandwiches during the busy farm season because we’re all doing this together. And together is what makes it special.

And if you’re at a stage of life where you can’t or don’t get together with family for Thanksgiving, then you can spend your day with the sweet Lord who offers life and hope. It’s fun to have family around, but I know it’s tiring, too.

God isn’t tiring. He’s inspiring and loves you to distraction, so whatever your day holds, I pray that it’s a warm, embracing day, filled with love near and far.

A day to just simply give thanks.

God bless you!

And yes, I’m giving away another copy of our Christmas anthology “Christmas at Star Inn”!

I love these stories!

Leave a comment about whatever you’re giving thanks for today… no thought is too little or too grand. It’s all good. And if you’d like prayers for something, well we’re happy to do that, too!

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends!

Ruthy

An Old Western Thanksgiving

by Pollyanna-loving blogger Ruth Logan Herne

We’ve all got our own traditions for Thanksgiving, don’t we?

Being in Western New York, our traditions are very New England… the turkey and stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes and maybe corn… rolls and butter. Cranberry sauce!

Oh, it’s a delightful way of putting on the dog and thanking God that one day a year…. (I’m of a mind we should be doing that on a more daily basis, but this is a Thanksgiving post, not a lecture. 🙂

Down south I have friends who can’t have Thanksgiving without barbecue…. and I mean real “cue” with brisket and cornbread or corn pudding (SO DELICIOUS!!!) and shrimp-and-grits and coke.

Notice the lower case, because all soft drinks are cokes. 🙂

And if you wander to Tex-Mex country, you might find traditional turkey in some places, but you might find a vast buffet of Hispanic foods, too….

And in an Italian house, what’s Thanksgiving without lasagna?

Unthinkable!

In the old west, in the early railroad days or pre-railroad days, you cooked what you had. What you grew. What you shot or trapped or bagged.

So Thanksgiving might be fresh fish or salt cod.

It might be chicken and dumplings if you were lucky enough to have started a flock of chickens and could spare one.

It might be smoked venison if you bagged a deer or an elk.

Or it could be birds… Not turkeys. Smaller birds. Game birds.

Or if you had the know-how to grow a pig over the summer, then butchering time might give you a fresh ham or a smoked ham… or bacon… or chops. Smoking and salting cured meat so that it would last longer.

We’re talking about lack of ice in an upcoming post and that was a big concern in parts of the west. you could cut block ice in the north, but that wasn’t happening in the lower states… not with a huge degree of keeping things cold because their winter is much shorter.

But when it comes right down to it, does it matter what we eat?

Naw.

Or what day we celebrate giving thanks to God for all of our blessings?

Nope.

When family is together, we choose that day. With a big family you can’t be governed by a calendar… so we choose to be governed by love. 🙂

How about you? Do you have a traditional-style Thanksgiving?

Or are you a little more regionally acclimated?

Let me know below!

And I have a copy of my upcoming Love Inspired book “A Hopeful Harvest” in the prize closet for one lucky person!

Next week is my mailing week…. and I’d love to pick your name!

Nationwide Release Mid-December!

November Game Day!

 

It’s game day, today! Are you ready for some fun?

With Thanksgiving coming right up next week, I thought it would entertaining to play a game that involves some holiday fun.

Not too far from our house, there is a field where wild turkeys gather. I love seeing them out there, but the closer it gets to Thanksgiving the fewer we see. Do you suppose they know what’s coming? 

If they could tell us, what do you think they’d say?

or maybe…

or how about…

 

Just for fun, write what you think should go on this sign and post it in the comments below.

One lucky, randomly drawn winner will receive an autographed paperback copy of Blown Into Romance. 

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

I hope this finds everyone well! This is the beginning of the long slide into the holiday season and I want to take a minute to thank each and everyone of you for reading our blog and being part of our family here at Wildflower Junction. 

This is will a different Thanksgiving for me. When my daughter was a freshman in college, her boyfriend’s family invited our family to dinner. It meant a drive and an overnight stay in Reno and breaking our own holiday traditions, which was me cooking a huge dinner for the family. Long story short, we said yes to the invitation and it was the beginning of a very good thing. I discovered that bringing a pie instead of cooking the entire meal was an amazingly freeing experience. We discovered that we liked spending Thanksgiving in a hotel and shopping Black Friday the next day in a city–something we’d never done before.

My mother, who at the time lived too far away to travel to our family Thanksgivings (and vice versa), was horrified. Not cook dinner? Eat it out? Break tradition?

Yes, Mom. It’s amazing!!!!

Thus started our tradition for the past fifteen years. Eventually Reno became San Francisco, and we saved all year for our stay in the big hotel in the city. We had dinner out. Our daughter-in-law joined the tradition, first as a girlfriend, then as a fiancee, and finally as our official daughter-in-law. 

But this year is different. My daughter got married three days ago and is off on her honeymoon, so Thanksgiving as a family in a city simply isn’t working out. Another change. So this year I am cooking the entire dinner for the first time in almost two decades. My turkey is defrosting in the fridge. I’m baking pies today. My son and daughter will spend the holidays with their in-laws and I will cook for my parents who now live close by. 

Change is good and traditions need not be carved in stone. I will miss my city Thanksgiving, but am so looking forward to bringing back the old traditions we’d carried on for years prior. 

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

Humility and Gratitude – The Cowboy Way

This is the time of year we pause to count our blessings, but fostering a spirit of gratitude year-round is a goal I strive to achieve. Did you know that people who make a regular effort to be thankful, live richer lives? Counting blessings and expressing gratitude for what we already have instead of focusing on what we don’t makes us happier.

Psychological studies have shown that a grateful attitude increases self-esteem, reduces depression, and makes us more resilient when hard times come our way. It improves our relationships with others, makes us more optimistic, and makes us more likely to be generous givers. On the physical side, studies have shown that fostering a thankful spirit reduces blood pressure, promotes relaxation and improved sleep, and can even shorten recovery time from illness.

I can’t help but think of the iconic cowboy. Humble, grateful for the little things in life, unbothered by the big things that reside outside his control. He’ll let God tackle those. He counts himself fortunate if he has a horse that don’t limp, a roof that don’t leak, and a wide open sky to gaze upon. He’s content.

I know that’s a romanticized ideal, but I like it. It helps me put things into perspective. But then again, maybe it’s not quite so romanticized. As I was searching the internet for ideas for this post, I ran across this story that ran on the CBS evening news back in September of last year. Not only did this story make me laugh, but it made me want to stand up and cheer for the humble cowboy who made a choice to do what was right and asked for nothing in return.

  • What simple things in life are YOU thankful for?

Karen’s Winner!

Click Cover to Order

Congratulations to Susan P.

Susan has another reason to give thanks today. She’ll be receiving a copy of Jolene Navarro’s A Texas Christmas Wish to enjoy as the season approaches.

May we all give thanks to the Giver of all blessings today and throughout the year.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

His love endures forever.

~Psalm 118:29~

Happy Thanksgiving!

MargaretBrownley-header

May your stuffing be tasty.
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!
              

-Author unknown

Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us!

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Someone is killing off the Harvey Girls and undercover Pinkerton detective Katie Madison hopes to find the killer before the killer finds her—or before she burns down the restaurant trying.

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B&N

A Thanksgiving Recipe and Book Giveaway!!!

Photo Credit: StGrundy via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: StGrundy via Compfight cc

I know we’re all busy with holiday preparations, so I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet. And the sweet is quite literal. In honor of the best eating holiday around, I thought I’d share my mother’s recipe for my favorite Thanksgiving dish – Candied Yams. Mmmmmm. They are so good. I never quite get mine to taste as good as hers, but they’re close enough to thoroughly enjoy.

Candied Yams

Wrap 5 large Red Garnet Yams in foil (poke a few vent holes with a short knife in each) and bake in a 400 degree oven until soft (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Let cool.

(Red Garnet Yams are much better than sweet potatoes, but if you can’t find them, sweet potatoes will work, too.)

candied yams
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of my mom’s yams, but this one came the closest. They won’t be syrupy, though. Just buttery and candied around the edges.

Unwrap yams, remove skin, and slice lengthwise into thin, oblong strips about 1/4 inch thick. Lay flat in a shallow baking dish (jelly roll pans work great), fitting them close together so almost no pan is visible. You will probably need at least 2 pans. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Drizzle (or spoon) melted butter over the yams until all the sugar is moistened. Bake in a 400 degree oven again until yams get dark (sticky and candied) around edges (usually 45-60 minutes).

Use a metal spatula to remove yams. Serve in a shallow dish.

Old-fashioned. Simple. And delicious!

Click Cover to Order
Click Cover to Order

The other sweet I’m offering today is a free book. WooHoo!!! Who doesn’t love a great Christmas story to curl up with around the holidays?

I had the honor of meeting author Jolene Navarro at a library event in the small Texas town of Llano. I snatched up a copy of her latest release, A Texas Christmas Wish, knowing all of my Petticoats & Pistols friends would love the chance to win a signed copy.

So, to enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment about your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Have a blessed day tomorrow with family and friends. May your hearts be filled with gratitude and your bellies be filled with delicious food.