You likely have never heard of Praisegiving because I just made it up. However, I have it on reasonably imaginary authority that President Lincoln considered this alternative option to the Thanksgiving we currently celebrate.
In fact, President Lincoln’s official proclamation declared the last Thursday of November a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”
There are always abundant reasons to skip thanksgiving and praise and engage in the more instinctual complain and criticize. We can all assemble lists of personal or global events in which we would have scripted a different outcome if we were in charge. Some may even come up in conversation with family in the coming days.
Part of thanksgiving and praise is acknowledging we are not all-powerful. Yet, we are still blessed in ways that escape our daily acknowledgement.
President Lincoln’s declaration gives us all the opportunity to reflect on our oft-overlooked blessings:
“I do therefore 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 and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand 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.”
From our families to yours, have a very blessed Praisegiving!
Quote of the week: Cicero: “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”
Photo credit: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/primary-sources/abraham-lincolns-proclamation-thanksgiving