The Fiddler on the Roof had it right when he sang about "Tradition." Perhaps more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving smacks of tradition. Every family has certain foods they like on the table, and people travel many miles to be with those they love.
Although harvest celebrations and days of thanksgiving were celebrated since Pilgrim times, the Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, smack in the middle of our Civil War. In 1941, Congress officially declared Thanksgiving to be the 4th Thursday in November.
I have celebrated Thanksgiving many ways. As a child, we all shared the day with my paternal grandparents. I remember ripping my dress at about the age of 5, while engaged in an exciting game of "crawl under the big long table as fast as you can with a bunch of cousins."
Eventually, my mother was the hostess as our family grew. My favorite photo of her was snapped in a moment on Thanksgiving Day. She has her worn pink apron on over her good housedress, and her smile reaches from ear to ear. I think she had just put the big yellow Pyrex bowl on the dining room table, filled with perfectly mashed potatoes. That picture always brings a smile to my face because it helps me recall the day with startling clarity.
So what does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it about gathering with family? Are you the host, or do you travel every year? Who carves the turkey? Take a few minutes right now to note what Thanksgiving has meant to you personally through the years. Now, share that with someone dear to you, and take a picture. They will cherish the memory.