Holiday spirit of giving should last all year long

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005

In 1621, Plymouth colonists and Indians shared a feast together that later Americans would mark as the first Thanksgiving.

Although the event itself actually took place between September and early November and was three days’ long, Thanksgiving evolved in the decades that followed and was finally declared an official holiday by President Abraham Lincoln, who set the day as the last Thursday in November, In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November and thus we have celebrated the holiday on that date ever since.

Thanksgiving starts our holiday season, with Christmas and New Year’s Day just around the corner.

On Thursday, millions of Americans will gather around their tables, bow their heads and thank God for their health, homes and their families.

Afterwards, they’ll have the chance to indulge in turkey and dressing, peas, corn bread, cranberry sauce and dessert, then kickback on the couch for the NFL’s traditional afternoon football game, or maybe catch a viewing of &#8220Miracle on 34th Street” Thursday night and prepare for the festivities of Christmas.

Conversely, millions of other Americans will go to bed hungry on Thursday. As we celebrate the unity of our families on Thanksgiving Day, it’s important that we think of our fellow human beings. Those who may lack even the most basic of necessities – a home, warm clothes, food, a bed.

That a child should spend each day wondering where his or her next meal is coming from should be an embarrassment to all Americans.

While most everyone turns his or her attention to the homeless and less fortunate during the holiday season, the opportunity to help someone in need is available every day of the year.

Holidays come once a year. But the spirit of the holidays should last all year long.