• Angelene Woodard

Thanksgiving Ain't What it Used to Be


My hubby got me a gift. Which is awesome, because I’m not even gonna lie, I love gifts!

It’s a tiny book called “The Founding Fathers: Quotes, Quips, and Speeches”.

Honestly, if I had received this book any time prior to the last five years, it totally would have ended up in the garage sale pile.

What can I say? I’m usually more interested in fascinating articles published by People magazine than American history and cool stuff her founding fathers had to say.

I’m not exactly sure what’s happening to my cool factor the older I get, but I’m not fighting it anymore. Maybe I'm just evolving, maturing? Bring on the historical facts!

Discovering and reading a portion of a speech given in New York on October 3, 1789 stirred my soul deeply.

The speaker was a well-known fella by the name of George Washington.

Here’s my take on this Thanksgiving Proclamation presented by America’s inaugural president.

In 1789, Thanksgiving Day was less about celebrating and more about offering reverence to the Almighty. Two hundred and twenty nine years ago, America humbly and gratefully declared a day dedicated to collective prayer and thanksgiving to God.

The original T-day had absolutely nothing to do with high calorie casseroles, Pilgrims and Indians, a fancy shmancy parade, or football. No one insisted on family tradition being more important than being a part of God’s family. And lastly, it sure as heck wasn’t the opening act for Christmas.

Somehow, we've managed to water it down. It kinda reminds me of what has happened with Christmas.


I know it may be challenging to read these words because of the formality. But, I encourage you to take a minute and focus your heart on what Thanksgiving was intended to be, why it exists, and what it means to American Christians today.

Besides, it took me a really long time to type all this out. You know, so indulge me a little.

President Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789

Whereas is it the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th, day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author for all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may the all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country…

It goes on; there's more. And it is just as beautiful as what we’ve read here.

There was a clear focus, a main goal. Thanksgiving wasn't intended to be about the American people. It was instituted to be about a people giving thanks to their God, Creator, and Provider.

Thanksgiving was an entire day dedicated to concentrating on God and His awesomeness.

It didn’t involve driving to fourteen different dinners in one day, taking a mini vacay for the long weekend, and preparing our wallets for the sales of the season. It didn't revolve around pie either. (Lord knows, we are all thankful for pie.)

The Thanksgiving of 1789 had everything to do with God and His followers giving him thanks, praise, and glory.

As it should be today.

Maybe this year we can read a short portion of this speech to family and friends before we offer our own thanks?

Maybe we can thank God for the wisdom and spiritual sensitivity our founding fathers possessed?

Maybe we can think deep thoughts regarding this cherished holiday instead of selfish, shallow ones?

Wouldn't it be fantastic if we weren't so ridiculously distracted by ourselves and for ourselves that we sincerely focused upon God?

Sure, we're thankful for all the things.

This year, let's thank the ONE who blesses abundantly and concentrate on HIM - not on all the things.

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Doxology of Praise

Angelene blogs about God, what He's teaching her, and how He

intervenes on her behalf at www.unqualifiedmom.com. Subscribe for free.