Business of Thanksgiving; U.S. Spends Over $60 Billion on Thanksgiving Weekend… Greater Than GDP of Many Countries…

Thankfulness is a key to business health… According to Tim Askew; it’s the simple things that make for success in business. Not the brilliant, not the celebrated, not the strategically complex. One of those simple things is the act of saying ‘Thank you’… You should always take time to say it, to mean it, to write it, to email it, even to tweet it…

According to William Arthur Ward; gratitude transforms common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings… Saying thank you is an emotional act. It doesn’t just acknowledge someone’s effort, kindness, intent, or action. It recognizes the person’s self. It’s even more important than acknowledging the principal person you are doing business with because it sets a tone for discussion. And it is a winning tone. When you suffuse your preliminary actions with gratitude, it shines out of you as a penumbra of generosity…

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According to Henry Van Dyke; gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling: Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse… In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619.

The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as ‘national day of thanksgiving’… Here is except of Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Proclamation of Thanksgiving’, Washington, D.C., October 3, 1863: I do invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving… to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union…

Since Abraham Lincoln Thanksgiving has become big business: U.S. will spend over $60 Billion on Thanksgiving weekend, which is greater than the GDP of many countries… This week, Americans will show their gratitude by shoveling in piles of food, watching hours of football, and heading to the shopping mall. The rituals have changed since the Pilgrims and native Indians first sat down together, and some of the numbers behind U.S.’s most cherished traditions are staggering, e.g.;

  • 52,000,000: Total number of turkeys consumed in U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.
  • 40,000,000: Number of U.S. families that will travel for Thanksgiving.
  • 660,00 tons: Annual tons of green beans in U.S. produced.
  • 2.5 billion pounds: Pounds of sweet potatoes produced in U.S. annually.
  • $120 million: Value of all pumpkins produced in U.S. annually.
  • 8.0 million barrels: Barrels of cranberry produced in U.S. annually.
  • $5.0 billion: Total value of turkeys produced in U.S. annually.

In the article Pilgrim Lesson: Spreading Wealth Brings Shared Poverty by Karen Gushta writes: The 104 people who arrived at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620, were organized under a charter which imposed a seven-year period of joint ownership. Thus, from the day they arrived in the new world, all clothing, houses, lands, crops, and cash were jointly owned. No matter how hard a man might work, he had little hope of personal gain for his effort. Unless changed, the charter was an iron-clad guarantee of seven very lean years.

It led to a social order at odds, and what 19th century historian James Eggleston called– sinking of personal interest… dissensions and insubordination… and famine… The communal arrangement also ill-fitted the Pilgrims for the demands of life on the edge of howling wilderness: The Pilgrims buried 44 people within the first three months, and a total of 50 poor wretches succumbed within the first year. The Pilgrims gathered what Governor Bradford described as a small harvest and celebrated their first Thanksgiving with the Indians in autumn of 1621, and  another small harvest followed in 1622. The meager return came, in part, because the Pilgrims were unskilled at farming and because of the sandy New England soil…

But more important, it was lack of any promise of return for their labors that caused even these God-fearing and devout settlers to fail to fully work the land. Bradford wrote; common ownership was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retarded much work which would have been to the general benefit and comfort… After much debate, Pilgrims abandoned the charter in March of 1623 and Governor Bradford allowed each man to plant corn for his own household… every family was assigned parcel of land, according to proportion of their numbers… this then was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that more corn was planted and harvested than otherwise would have been the case…

Suddenly, these heretofore mediocre farmers became capitalist, and took great leaps forward. The authors ‘D. James Kennedy and Charles Hull Wolfe’ report that while the Pilgrims planted 26 acres of corn, barley, and peas in 1621, and nearly 60 acres the next year, they planted 184 acres in 1623. Bradford reported that– instead of famine God gave them plenty and the face of things was changed to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. Under new system of private enterprise, ‘any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day’… With the Indian trade and ample food supply, the Pilgrims grew in prosperity and were soon able to buy out the interest of investors and get clear title to the land. However now four centuries later, its lessons still have not been mastered…

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In the article Thanksgiving: American Celebration of Creation of Wealth by Gary Hull writes: Thanksgiving celebrates man’s ability to produce. The cornucopia filled with exotic flowers and delicious fruits, the savory turkey with aromatic trimmings, the mouth-watering pies, the colorful decorations– it’s all a testament to the creation of wealth. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, because this country was the first to create and to value material abundance. It’s America that has been the beacon for anyone who wants to escape from poverty and misery. It’s America that generated the unprecedented flood of goods that washed away centuries of privation. It’s America, by establishing the precondition of production– political freedom– that was able to unleash the dynamic, productive energy of its citizens.

This should be a source of pride to every self-supporting individual. It’s what Thanksgiving is designed to commemorate. But there are those who want to make Thanksgiving a day of national guilt. We should be ashamed, they say; for consuming a disproportionate share of world’s food. Our affluence, they say; constitutes a depletion of the planet’s resources, they say; are cause, not for celebration but atonement. But, all production is an act of creation. From food and clothing to science and art, every act of production requires thought. This virtue of productiveness is what Thanksgiving is supposed to recognize…

Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late November date of the holiday. In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during English Reformation…

Other places around world observe similar celebrations, for example: In Korean culture, the festival of Chuseok is celebrated typically around fall, and fills a similar social role as Thanksgiving. In Japan, Labor Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday… Thanksgiving, in America, was a feast among Pilgrims and Native Americans to celebrate their– wealth and their ability to produce, however small it might be… Thanksgiving is great opportunity to think of wealth as abundance of things that you value, for example: Loving Family, Good Health, True Happiness… Be thankful. Be content. Be rich…

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In addition, we the authors of this post are thankful for your readership. We are thankful for your visits to this website… Thanksgiving means gratitude and it gives us inspiration and drive to make positive difference. Gratitude nurtures generosity; Gratitude underlines everything, in everyone, that is good and whole… According to Marcel Proust; let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom…