“Come on, already! Let’s serve the turkey and get on with it. The games are starting on TV and I don’t want to miss the first quarter!”
“No, dear, let’s take a moment to each tell what we’re thankful for this year and then to pray.”
>sigh< "Why?! I just want to eat and get outta here."
“Why? Well, instead of me trying to tell you why I think we should pray and give thanks, let me read to you what the original idea for Thanksgiving was …
“No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
“And I recommend to them that, while offering up the prayers of thanks justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.
“In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and cause the seal of the United States to be affixed.
“Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.”
– Abraham Lincoln
[NOTE: from Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclaimation]