Thanksgiving has a very long history as it was a thanks for a bountiful harvest. Thanksgiving is found in most cultures and religions.
Today I will comment on my 70 years of Thanksgiving practise. I don't remember Thankgiving in my years from birth to about 8 or 9. It was during the war and times were tough as well as food was rationed during the war. We maybe did not have any formal celebration of the day. What I first remember is that my Dad loved turkey and to celebrate with his relatives. He would invite his two brothers and their families. It was a happy time with lots of visiting and celebrating. I don't remember too much concentration on thankfulness except for the thanking God for the food.
My first few years of living away from home, I usually made it back to Dad's for his famous turkey feast. At this time I also attended the odd CFL football game. When I went to the arctic, we were mostly single and not well enough organized that we would order a frozen turkey a year in advance for Thanksgiving celebrations. I was sometimes invited to share the meal with a family and it was a special treat and much appreciated.
When I married my wife was big on having a special Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. That routine has continued to the present. For seven years my daughter insisted on doing the Thanksgiving meal. She would invite her birth mother and Granny. My daughter is an excellent cook and likes to experiment and have variety. It was also special to have her birth mother to celebrate with us and visit with her.
Now all that I have been referring to is food! I love food but surely there is more to Thanksgiving that food? Surely we could wish one another well on this day.
I like what has been happening lately where people make an effort to state openly what they are thankful for over the last year. This to me seems to be meaningful when we have to stop and consider the past year and what we have to be thankful for. In a religious sense people pray and thank God every day. Religious practice is full of thankfulness to God. So on Thanksgiving Day I like the practice of stating openly before others our thanks for important things in our life for the past year. When I do this I realize how extremely fortunate I have been in the past year. Oh yes, I do enjoy the food.