Why Thanksgiving Matters

Why Thanksgiving Matters

There is something warm and comforting about the holiday season, with its familiar traditions and joyous gatherings. But amid this cheerful season, why is Thanksgiving important?

happy thanksgiving!

Photo by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels 

Thanksgiving stands as a beacon, not only as a celebration of harvest or a historical event but as a solemn and heartfelt recognition of the blessings we have received. It is an American holiday to immortalize these moments of gratitude through cherished family traditions.

What is Thanksgiving?

family watercolor portrait

 Thanksgiving is one of the cultural holidays celebrated predominantly in the United States and Canada. It's traditionally observed in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November.

 American families celebrate it by consuming a harvest feast, typically including traditional foods like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and various autumnal vegetables.

 But Thanksgiving days are about more than just sharing a traditional meal. It's about gratitude, family, community, and connection to the American people. It's a day to gather with loved ones and express appreciation for all the blessings and good things in our lives.

It's a day to create enduring memories that families may turn into cherished watercolor family portraits that the next generations of the family will look back on every Thanksgiving while sharing a harvest supper.

The History of Thanksgiving

thanksgiving family oil painting


The story of Thanksgiving begins in the early 17th century when a group of English Pilgrims seeking religious freedom set sail on the Mayflower to the New World. After a challenging voyage, they finally arrived at what is now known as Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts.

In 1621, the Pilgrims gathered for a three-day feast to celebrate their successful harvest season. This historic event is often regarded as the first day of Thanksgiving. However, there has been growing awareness of the complex and often painful real history of Thanksgiving for Native American families. Many lost their lives and lands during King Philip's war. 

In American history, it was first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789 as a day of Thanksgiving, the earliest celebration of the holiday. It wasn't until 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in North America. In the Canadian holiday, the people celebrate it during the second Monday of October to end the harvest season.

In 1941, the Senate signed a joint resolution to make this American celebration done every last Thursday of November. Later on, presidents John F. Kennedy and John Adams continued to acknowledge the national holiday.

 The days of Thanksgiving remain one of the most cherished and widely celebrated federal holidays in the United States. It's a time for the family to share a special meal and do annual traditions like getting a family oil painting, watching football games of your favorite team, or watching the Santa Claus float on Macy's parade.

Why Gratitude Is Important

Thanksgiving emphasizes the value of gratitude in our lives. We will likely be more content and happy when we reflect on what we have rather than what we lack.

Whether it's your health, family, job, or just the beauty of nature, there's always something to be grateful for. It's a common tradition to express this gratitude through communal prayer or dinner toasts during this secular holiday.

The Benefits of Spending Time with Loved Ones

Couple Charcoal Drawings


Thanksgiving is a treasure trove of beautiful memories waiting to be made. From preparing holiday staples to looking back on old couple charcoal drawings of the older members of the family, these moments become cherished memories that last a lifetime. These holiday traditions can help to create a sense of belonging and identity.  

It is also an excellent opportunity to teach children about the importance of gratitude through American traditions. By spending time with loved ones and reflecting on all of the good things in their lives, children can learn to appreciate what they have.

Food is at the heart of Thanksgiving, and sharing traditional dishes with loved ones can be a delightful experience. The cooking and savoring of the family's culinary history add to the enjoyment of this American tradition. 

If you don't have any Thanksgiving traditions, start some new ones this year. It could involve cooking a new dish, playing a new game, or spending time outdoors together. 

Ways to Give Back to Your Community

While Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for our blessings, it's also an opportunity to share our abundance with others. Giving back to the community is a vital aspect of this holiday. Whether you donate baskets of food to a local food bank, volunteer to serve a hearty meal at a homeless shelter, or organize a charity event, your actions can make a meaningful difference. 

Many older adults and people with disabilities cannot spend Thanksgiving with their families. You can visit a nursing or retirement home and spend time with the residents, play games, or talk and listen to their stories.

You may also host a Thanksgiving potluck dinner for your friends and neighbors and donate the proceeds to a local charity. It is a great way to help ensure that everyone in your community has a meal to eat on Thanksgiving.

Make Thanksgiving Memorable With Memorialize Art

As you prepare for this year's Thanksgiving celebration, consider immortalizing these precious moments with a unique piece of artwork from Memorialize Art. These creative expressions of love and gratitude will make your Thanksgiving even more memorable and serve as a lasting reminder of why Thanksgiving matters.