Today is the day! Not THE day, but the day . . . the day I am busy from start to finish, ending the day with a counter and fridge full of pies, breads, and pre-prepped portions of dishes that will make tomorrow easier. There is also cleaning, straightening, washing the table linens and polishing the flatware . . . you know, the details! I stress over it as the days approach, power through it when it happens, and look at it from the other side with a feeling of contentment. There will also be the happiness at not having to cook anything for a few days, and the knowledge that I don’t know if I could if I wanted to. It’s all NO cooking, munching on leftovers and putting up the Christmas tree from Friday through the weekend. I just have to get through the next couple of days.
Verse of the Day
November 21, 2018
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way — in all your speaking and in all your knowledge.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
The apostle Paul was amazing. He is writing one of the most problematic churches and yet finds reasons to give thanks for them. First, he is thankful for them because Jesus died for them. When God extends his grace to others, how can we not do the same? Second, he recognizes the areas of their abuse are also a reason to give thanks — they may have distorted it, but when reigned in to honor God, these gifts could bless their church. Even though he has tough words to follow, Paul’s example reminds us that a child of God is something to be cherished, even if that child has problems.
I Am Thankful For . . .
Every year we buy the groceries and prepare this big meal as a labor of love for our family and friends. It is a lot of work, but every ingredient, every moment, spent in planning and cooking is worth it because we are surrounded by the ones we love. Every person at our table is someone I am thankful for, and every moment spent with them is special.
A Little Thanksgiving History
Most of us, at least those of us who were taught history before it was revised to be politically correct, learned that the first Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans came together to celebrate harvest. This was in 1621, at some point between September 21st and November 11th, and lasted for three days. They ate deer, fowl, berries, fish, clams, plums and boiled pumpkin – at least that’s part of it. I’m sure there was more, but that’s the basics of what we learned.
The Thanksgiving celebration we have now is loosely based on the feast of 1621, but it did not become an annual event for quite some time. There were similar feasts now and again, but usually as a result of the end of a drought, victory in battle, or after a good harvest. It wasn’t until October of 1777 that all thirteen colonies celebrated, with the first Nationally acclaimed day of Thanksgiving being held in 1789 when President Washington declared Thursday, November 26 to be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer,” especially, to give thanks for the chance to form a new nation and for the establishment of a new constitution. Even with this declaration though, it didn’t catch on annually right away.
The modern idea of Thanksgiving came about because of a woman by the name of Sarah Joseph Hale. She was the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s Book” and author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and spent 40 years of her life advocating for a national, annual Thanksgiving holiday. Now THAT is dedication! In the years leading up to the Civil War, she felt the holiday was a way to bring hope and belief in the nation and the Constitution, so when the United States was torn in half by the war, and President Lincoln was seeking a way to bring everyone together, he had a conversation with Sarah Hale. Because of that conversation, on October 3, 1963, Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November, based on the date George Washington set) to be a day of thanksgiving and praise. For the first time, it was a national, annual holiday, with a set date.
For the 75 years that followed President Lincoln’s proclamation, succeeding presidents honored the tradition, until President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. He had quite a bit on his mind at that time. The world had been suffering from the Great Depression for 10 years, and WWII had just erupted in Europe. The U.S. economy looked bleak for the foreseeable future. In the year of 1939, the last Thursday of November was on the 30th, which was a problem for retailers, since there were only 24 shopping days until Christmas. They begged FDR to push Thanksgiving back one week earlier, since it had been determined that most people do their Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving and the retailers hoped that with an extra week of shopping people would buy more. So, FDR made his own Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1939, declaring that the date of Thanksgiving would now be the 2nd to last Thursday of the month.
This new date caused quite a bit of confusion. The calendars were now wrong, schools had planned vacations and tests had to be rescheduled. Thanksgiving had been a big day for football games, as it is today, so the game scheduled had to be looked at, so changes could be made. FDR’s political opponents, and many others, questioned his right to change the holiday. They felt that changing a holiday to appease businesses wasn’t a good enough reason for the change. The mayor of Atlantic City even derogatorily called it “Franksgiving” that year. Since most governors in many states did not agree with the decision to change the date, they refused to follow suit, so the country became split as to which Thanksgiving Day they should observe. Twenty-three states followed the change FDR made and declared Thanksgiving to be November 23rd (the 2nd to last Thursday that year). Twenty-three other states disagreed and kept the traditional date, and two states, Colorado and Texas, decided to honor both dates. This still leaves the question, did the change of date work and help with retail sales? No, it didn’t. Businesses reported that the spending was about the same. In 1940, once again FDR declared Thanksgiving to be the 2nd to last Thursday of the month. This time 31 states followed him, and 17 kept the traditional date, and the confusion continued.
So, Lincoln established the Thanksgiving holiday to bring everyone together, but now confusion over the date change was tearing them apart again. On December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law that declared Thanksgiving would happen every year on the 4th Thursday of November. Problem solved.
False Confession Day – This is another one of those that I just read it with a big question mark floating around in my head. WHY? I would love it if someone could tell me WHY? Whoever started this one thought – for whatever reason, that it would be fun to encourage people to make false confessions. Did you do it? Didn’t you do it? If you did, shhhh, but if you DIDN’T do it, then today is your day to offer up that false confession. I’d suggest being cautious if you wish to participate in this one – a false confession could land you in a bunch of trouble, so think carefully about exactly what you may be confessing to! For example: Do not falsely confess to a crime. Do not falsely report someone lost, killed or injured. Do not falsely confess to having an affair. I think I’ll pass on this one myself.
National Jukebox Day – I’ve always thought jukeboxes were pretty cool. They bring up images in my mind of an era that is far different than what we live in now, when teenagers would gather at the local diner, plug in some coins to the jukebox and dance to their favorite songs. It was a time before CDs, i-pods, MP3 players, or whatever the latest technology is right now. It makes me a little sad that kids today only know what one is from old movies, or re-runs of Happy Days. The name jukebox is said to come from places called “juke houses” or “jook joints”. These were places in the early 1900s where people gathered to drink and listen to music. The first coin-operated player was invented in 1889 by Louis Glass and William S. Arnold, who were managers of the Pacific Phonograph Co. The machines were known as the nickel-in-the-slot machine. A little long, right? The jukebox grew up with the times, and eventually an aspiring inventor created a box that would play both sides of a record. Jukeboxes today are touch screen and stream music, rather than using records, which I suppose is nice, but it’s just not the same. Funny story, my daughter used to work in a restaurant that had one of the streaming jukeboxes that could be changed with a phone app. She would change the song or style of song just to make people wonder “what in the world? Who put THAT song in there?” I guess it did liven up a boring evening at work.
Tie One on Day – This one is awesome! I love it! Today is Tie One On Day . . . a day when we give from the heart to a neighbor or someone in our community to bring them joy! Today tie on an apron (what did you THINK it meant?), get into the kitchen and while you are baking for your own Thanksgiving meal, wrap up a loaf of bread or another sort of baked good and tuck a note or prayer up with it and give it to someone else to make their day special. “Women clad in aprons have traditionally prepared the Thanksgiving meal, and it is within our historical linkage to share our bounty.” EllynAnne Geisel Today put the give back into Thanksgiving and make someone’s day brighter. Let’s all Tie One On!
World Hello Day – The entire goal of this one is to promote peace around the world. The theme of the day is “Greet ten people for peace”. It’s a pretty simple thing to do, just say hello to people! You can voice your concern for world peace though. I admit that I’m a bit practical minded when it comes to that. There has been war and conflict since the fall of man, and there will be until the earth ceases to exist. Peace would be an awesome thing, but it’s not realistic, sadly enough. I’d be happy to just have some kindness shown to each other as we all go about our days. Celebrate this one – it’s easy! Just say “HELLO!”
Food Celebration of the Day –
Gingerbread Day – Nobody really knows who first created Gingerbread Day, people have been enjoying this delicious sweet treat for centuries. Legend is that Gregory of Nicopolis, an Armenian monk, taught priests how to make gingerbread in the year 992. Whether it’s a crisp cookie or soft cake, or a big house you can make, now is the perfect time to whip up a brand-new recipe if you’re a gingerbread fan.
- Gingerbread Pancakes– These pancakes call for buttermilk, flour, dark brown sugar, molasses, butter, spices and ground ginger.
- Quick Gingerbread– Bisquick makes it quick!
- Gingerbread Loaf – This recipe, which includes molasses, low-fat milk, dark brown sugar, golden raisins, walnuts and prune baby food, looks moist as can be!
- Pumpkin Gingerbread –This moist gingerbread recipe sounds amazing!
- Big Soft Ginger Cookies– This recipe for big and soft cookies has over 3,000 reviews!
- Grandma’s Gingersnaps– This popular recipe calls for margarine, white sugar, an egg, molasses, all-purpose flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Gingerbread Man Cookies– Cute!
- Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches –You better make plenty – this recipe looks fab-u-lous!
- Gingerbread Cobbler – This simple recipe calls for apple pie filling, light brown sugar, butter, pecans, a package of gingerbread mix and vanilla ice cream. Yum!
- Gingerbread Pear Trifle – This layered dish, with pears, vanilla custard, gingerbread and whipped cream, would be perfect for any tablescape.
- Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies– Fair warning – these pictures are guaranteed to make your mouth water uncontrollably!
- Lemon Ginger Cheesecake– This recipe, from Bon Appetit, calls for gingersnap cookies, sugar, ginger, unsalted butter, 4 packages of cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, whipping cream, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, lemon juice and peel.
- Gingerbread Cheesecake– Now we’re talkin’! This recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart, calls for cream cheese, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, butter and gingerbread cookies.
- Gingerbread Cocktails
- Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail – This recipe, from Betty Crocker, calls for molasses, fresh ginger, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, vanilla vodka, half-and-half and coffee liqueur.
- Gingerbread Martini – This drink looks delightful! You’ll need vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, gingerbread syrup, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream!
- Gingerbread Martini – Here’s another martini recipe but this one calls for gingersnap cookies, ginger liqueur, coffee-flavored liqueur, vanilla-citrus liqueur, coffee-flavored rum, honey and whipping cream.
- Bronze Autumn Cocktail – Shawn Cox won the Walker Gingerbread Cocktail Competition with this fabulous concoction that calls for apple vodka, gingerbread liqueur and a splash of dry champagne. Winning!
- Gingerbread Cocktail – This 5-star cocktail, from Giada de Laurentiis, calls for espresso powder, hazelnut liqueur, Kahlua, fresh ginger, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Gingerbread Apple Cocktail– This drink calls for Domaine de Canton ginger and cognac liqueur, vanilla vodka, apple cider, honey or agave syrup, lemon juice and orange zest.
- Pumpkin & Gingerbread Cocktail– You’ll need dark rum, gingerbread essence, pumpkin molasses, chilled coffee, gingerbread cookie and Kahlua for this cocktail.
National Cranberry Day – This was a brand-new celebration last year, and a very worthy celebration indeed. I love cranberries for so many things! Here are some interesting facts I thought you might like to read about cranberries.
- Another name for cranberries is “bounceberries” because they bounce when ripe.
- Some Native Americans called the cranberry ibimi which means “bitter berry”
- Native Americans and Pilgrims used cranberries as a red dye.
- Wild cranberries were probably part of the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
- Today, cranberry sauce is an essential part of American and Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations.
After working with cranberries, I can see why #3 on the list is so. It takes forever to wash cranberry juice off – or it feels that way. Well, I have to say that I do love cranberries used in many different ways, so this is a fun one to celebrate today.
Today as you go about the day, whether you are working, cooking, traveling, or a combination of the above, do it with a happy and thankful heart. Tis the reason, right? God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!
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Celebration list sources: