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Just Outside My Door 11/22/12

November 28, 2012
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Recently we have been having cold nights with temperatures in the low 30's and 40's during the daytime. Nevertheless it's been sunny and quite enjoyable.

On Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving, and hopefully that sunshine will continue. We will be celebrating it with family and friends. That special day is one of my favorite holidays and not just because we enjoy the great fellowship, but more importantly it began as a day for giving thanks. First of all to God for His love, grace and mercy and sending His son to become the propitiation for our sins thereby providing a way for man's salvation. After all, that's why the Pilgrims celebrated the first actual Thanksgiving in our country those many years ago.

There is a lot of history and much controversy about the first celebrations of Thanksgiving Day. Some have said it began as a pagan holiday in various countries when a special holiday was held to give thanks to their gods for a successful harvest. It was held in the fall and other activities also took place. Sometimes it went on for several days. Other sources have related it is commonly believed that as time went on, churches began holding a special day for Christians to gather together in autumn and give thanks to God for their many blessings and especially for a successful harvest.

Article Photos

Photo by Elaine G. Cole
Turkeys wander around looking for food in Elaine Cole’s yard. No doubt it's like the ones the Pilgrims had.

As for the first Thanksgiving Day in the United States, it took place in 1621 when Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day for the Pilgrims to give thanksgiving and prayer to God for their harvest in the new world. Previously they had endured a long, difficult trip by boat from England to the new world for the purpose of having freedom to worship God. Later it became known as the first Thanksgiving. I know that is true because Edward Winslow of Plymouth, Mass., wrote the following letter to England in 1621:

"Our harvest being gotten in our Governor sent four men out fowling that so we might after a more special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. These four, in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help besides, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our armies, many of the Indians coming amongst us."

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving.



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