Don’t look now, but the holidays are upon us.
While retailers push the day the holiday shopping season begins earlier and earlier each year, the arrival of Thanksgiving marks the traditional start of the holidays.
Loosely based upon harvest festivals that are probably as old as agriculture itself, our Thanksgiving feast is uniquely American.
We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving held at Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1621, a time when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans celebrated their bountiful harvest together for the first time.
William Bradford, the governor at the time, arranged a festival that last three days — including turkeys, geese, ducks, venison, cod, bass, corn, barley and cornbread.
All 13 colonies celebrated Thanksgiving in October 1777 to commemorate the victory over the British at Saratoga.
U.S. President George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln also declared the last day of November should be a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, but Congress didn’t make it an official national holiday until 1941.
On Thanksgiving Day friends and family will travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to join in the festivities that often include turkey and stuffing (91 percent of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving), ham, corn, sweet potatoes, cranberries, rolls, pumpkin pies and a host of other family favorites. On the West Coast, Dungeness crab is becoming a popular Thanksgiving food, but don’t forget none other than Ben Franklin wanted to turkey to be the country’s national bird. Luckily the eagle won out.
Curiously, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada, and the Canadians call our Thanksgiving “Yanksgiving.”
Many families use their time together at Thanksgiving to being preparations for the Christmas holiday that is only a short month away.
The newspaper office will close for Thanksgiving, and the employees with gather for a day with their family and friends to celebrate the holiday.
We hope you, your family, your loved ones and your friends also will gather on this day to share and give thanks as the holiday season begins in earnest.
We wish you and yours a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving holiday full of the bounty and blessings of the season, and we thank your for reading our newspaper throughout the year.
May God bless us one and all during this festive, holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving, Lassen County.