Opinion: Celebrating Thanksgiving 2023

November 7, 2023 By Glenn Mangurian

Halloween is behind us and we are in the official holiday season. We will hear about how many shopping days there are until Christmas. Before we get to Christmas, let’s not forget about celebrating Thanksgiving. It seems like in recent years many find it more challenging to give thanks. I know there are events in our lives and the world that challenge us. International, national and local news put a spotlight on the negative. We carry grievances – some present and others from the past. These are all the more reason to reflect on the positive aspects of our lives.

When I think of observing the Thanksgiving holiday, I reflect on food, family, friends and faith. Each of these plays some role in commemorating this day.

The Tradition
Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a celebration of the many blessings of the past year. The familiar Thanksgiving tradition that involves feasting is traced to the Pilgrims who emigrated from England in 1620. History tells us that one year later in Plymouth, Massachusetts the Pilgrims expressed their gratitude to God for their survival and a good harvest in the new land.

In more modern times, President Kennedy issued this proclamation:
Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God. On Thanksgiving Day, for many Americans, the highlight of the holiday is sharing a delicious turkey dinner with family and friends. While we share the meal, we engage in meaningful conversations, share experiences, and form bonds that can last a lifetime.Coming together at the table brings us closer and creates positive memories.

Helping Our Neighbors Who May Be Vulnerable
You may have a friend or neighbor who feels vulnerable during this season. Reach out and let them know that you care and that they are not alone. Listen with compassion and empathy. It takes a village to care for its villagers. There are opportunities to help others who may be financially insecure during the holidays. In Hingham, the Food Pantry would welcome your donation of non-perishable items. You can drop off a food donation on November 8 th or 20 th at the Second Parish Church, 685 Main Street. A financial donation can be used by a volunteer to purchase dairy, meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. Financial donations can be made by addressing a check to Hingham Food Pantry, 685 Main Street, Hingham. Thank you for your consideration.

Be Grateful
Each year most of us are grateful for the people who enrich our lives. Beyond our treasured relationships there are daily acts of kindness that oftentimes go unnoticed and unacknowledged. Take a moment to pause, scan your life right now and put your attention on all of the simple things for which you can express gratitude. We always have a choice as to what we pay attention to, what we focus on, and what we appreciate (or don’t). Make a commitment to genuinely value the simple things in your life today, tomorrow and every day. See what happens. You might be surprised.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

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