Don’t you love traditions? Every family I know has some tradition uniquely reserved to them. Since I divorced almost a decade ago my two children have always traveled with their father to his parents for Thanksgiving. Growing up with two remarkable grandparents myself, I always encouraged them going because their grandparents were quite elderly and I knew they wouldn’t have them for long. So as my kids went I began my tradition of buying a nice thick steak, a great bottle of wine and piling on my couch for a day of pre-selected movies.
Sadly, they lost their grandfather just last year at the ripe old age of 95. He was a veteran of WWII and had served in the 9th Armored division. He stood barely 5 ft. tall and both of my kids now 15 and 11, towered over him. I’m so grateful they had the time they did with him.
This year, however, for the first time in a very long time, I’m having my kids for Thanksgiving this year. I had to make a conscious effort to pick and choose what traditions we could begin with just us three. We watched the Macy’s day Parade. My son had never heard of it. So I’m not exactly certain what he’s been doing for the past 9 years. I made a cherry pie because my grandmother always made me a cherry pie since it was my favorite. We are watching Harry Potter movies and spending the day cuddle with massive amounts of animals. (We are caring for a few extra critters while my friend is away visiting family.)
My daughter, however, asked me a great question earlier about how Thanksgiving came to be. She knew about the basic tale of the Pilgrims but as a conservative writer and a terribly patriotic American I saw the door open for an incredible teaching moment. I talked to her about how George Washington at the urging of Congress, set aside a day of Thanksgiving to “acknowledge the providence of Almighty God”. What’s this? George Washington used the “G” word!
Of course he did. George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation set aside a day to be grateful to God and continuing to ask for his favor and protection for this great nation of ours. Many today would say the thought is antiquated. However, our founders knew that even though religion is protected through our first Amendment, which is seriously being attacked through Obamacare attempting to dictate laws over religion, but they knew it is a moral and good people who are capable of self-governing. I believe with all that I am, without God, our country would never have come to fruition.
And as a progressive nation attempts more and more to wage a War on God, I realize now more than ever how nothing more than divine providence will see us through.
I am grateful for this country. I am grateful for you. I am thankful my children are free and I am blessed to have a voice. But mostly, I am grateful to a God who allowed me all these inalienable rights.
Here is George Washington’s beautiful Thanksgiving Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is 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 thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and 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 of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.