Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I hope your celebration was as fun filled as ours was!
I was so happy to spend another year gathered around the table with family and friends to share an incredible meal and give thanks for our many blessings. The traditions we share have been passed down for generations, and honestly, the Thanksgiving rituals we have today aren’t really all that different than the Thanksgiving celebrations Colonel Arthur DeKay might have shared with his family!
Before the Civil War, Thanksgiving wasn’t a very big deal. We owe the national holiday that we know and love today largely in part to the Colonel’s good friend, Abraham Lincoln!
Families observed Thanksgiving on a smaller scale before the war between the states, but it didn’t become a national holiday until President Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1863.
Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving celebrations were focused on honoring and thanking Union soldiers for their service. The Union League Club of New York swung into service to provide every soldier with a delicious Thanksgiving feast that looked a lot like our own Thanksgiving tables! Soldiers enjoyed roasted turkey, cranberries, and other delicious Thanksgiving staples, launching the traditions we carry on today.
They didn’t have the option to doze in front of a televised football game after polishing off the last of the pumpkin pie, but otherwise, Colonel Arthur Dekay’s family probably celebrated a lot like we do!
In my first book, Lost Treasure of Petersburg, the DeKay family enjoys a delicious feast of smoked Virginia ham, collard greens, sweet potatoes, butter beans, rice, and pecan pie for dessert. My family Thanksgiving looks mighty similar!
The Arnold clan enjoys turkey and ham alongside delicious cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, gravy, and a pineapple casserole that I wait for all year long! It’s a wonderful celebration, and I am Thankful for every year that I spend with my beloved family.
As we move into the holiday season, I hope you were surrounded by love, laughter, countless blessings, and lots of delicious meals!