"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Tidbits - Part 2

Part 1
Thanksgiving Day hasn't always been celebrated at a set time each year like it is now.  In fact sometimes the colonists' leaders would ask for days of prayer and fasting after hardships like drought and then celebrate with a day of thanksgiving when blessed with beneficial rains.  The Continental Congress asked for a day of thanksgiving for the victory over the British in the Battle of Saratoga whereas President George Washington declared a day of thanksgiving in recognition of the Constitution's ratification.

Jefferson: Too busy to proclaim any days to offer thanks?

President Thomas Jefferson never proclaimed any thanksgiving days and states often varied on its appropriateness. "A thanksgiving day was annually appointed by the governor of New York from 1817. In some of the Southern states there was opposition to the observance of such a day on the ground that it was a relic of Puritanic bigotry, but by 1858 proclamations appointing a day of thanksgiving were issued by the governors of 25 states and two territories."  (Wikipedia article

Hale: Her editorials influenced a President

Thanksgiving was not celebrated on a set day by the whole country until President Abraham Lincoln "prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863."

Later the day was changed to the fourth Thursday which means sometimes Thanksgiving is celebrated on the the last Thursday (such as this year) while some years it's the next to last Thursday.  This was done in order to allow more of a Christmas shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I saw this on Wikipedia concerning this change and found it funny enough to share.

Despite a civil war in the nation in 1863, Lincoln made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.

"Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to Nov. 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and Nov. 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving" [because this change happened under Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt]. Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt's change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays."

I wonder what would happen if you had both Republicans and Democrats in the same family! Ha, ha!  Maybe Texas had the right idea and one could celebrate both the last and next-to-last Thursdays with good meals! 

The day after Thanksgiving - often referred to as Black Friday (and in this case "black" is something good unlike "Black Death" or "Black September") is the official start of the Christmas shopping season.  That's why my family often looks through the sales ads at some point on Thanksgiving afternoon to see if there are any "must have" deals for those crazy enough [that'd usually be my sister!] to brave the massive crowds.   The Thanksgiving edition of the paper is usually stocked with ads from stores trying to lure you to spend your money at their establishments.

Some people actually enjoy the excitement of Black Friday sales and get most all their Christmas shopping finished.

Do any of you plan to shop on Black Friday?  Can anyone tell me why it's called Black Friday and why the "black" is good in this case?  What do you think about Texas declaring both the Republican Thanksgiving and Franksgiving as national holidays?  Anything here new to you as it was to me?


Amber said...

Do any of you plan to shop on Black Friday?

Never! I actually *forgot* about Black Friday one year and went to pick up a special edition dvd set of the Lord of the Rings that I'd preordered. This was years ago when they were first coming out.

Good lord, it was a madhouse! I couldn't find parking, I almost couldn't get into the building because people were driving like morons. It was like that old video game, Frogger, where you're trying to cross the road without getting squashed. And then, when I got in, I had to wait in line for something like an hour. It was madness! I really should have just given up, but by the time it occurred to me what the hell was going on, I was already there and in the line and I *really* wanted those dvds. :)

But never again. My boss actually drives around after Thanksgiving dinner is over, on her way home, to look at the lines and laugh at the crazy people.

Susanne said...

I'm laughing that you forgot! Girrrrrl!

And that's funny about your boss riding around laughing at the crazy folks. :D

Nocturnal Queen said...

I go grocery shopping (Target & Food Lion) every Friday and will be going on Black Friday. I've never had a problem with crowds. Hopefully I won't this year either.

Lat said...

I don't know about Black Friday and even pose a question in your FB status :) Now I know,it's confirmed it's shopping! :)

Yes I'm intrigued as well over why it's called black.maybe black in those days weren't meant as a bad sign at all,er? Just a thought.

I liked Franksgiving! Haha! So can I deduce that Thanksgiving is a very American (perhaps with Jewish roots)tradition? Thank you so much.Do have an enjoyable weekend!

Susanne said...

Niki, I daresay by the time you leave the house to shop the frenzy is over. I know the Burlington Target is a madhouse EARLY on Black Friday. :)

Susanne said...

Lat, I smiled when I saw your comment on Facebook about Black Friday being about shopping. :) I'm glad it was confirmed for you here. Ha!

When a business is "in the black" that is a good thing. Being "in the RED" means expenses have been more than income and that's not good. So Black Friday is the day many retailers get "in the black" (more income for the fiscal year than expenses) so it's a huge boost to them. Thus it's a good thing! Make sense?

Thanks for your comment. I liked Franksgiving too..hehehe