Happy Thanksgiving from Anne

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

George Washington's First ThanksgivingJT has already wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, but I still want to get my two cents in. Our religious family members, friends and neighbors are celebrating today by thanking their deity for things that either happened naturally or were done by human hands. As realistic, reasoning, committed non-theists and skeptics we owe thanks to lots of people who make our lives more comfortable. We should be grateful for the first-world problems we have – we could be having third-world problems.

I edit a newsletter for an historical society I belong to, and its most recent edition went out last week. Because it was a November edition, the president of the society asked me to reprint George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. Since Washington focused his gratitude on God, I felt his proclamation was totally inadequate for the job. Here’s the incomplete list I put together to address the things left out of the first official American Thanksgiving:

  • Volunteers, without whom so much good would be left undone
  • Activists, without whom social change might be impossible
  • Science and scientists: better living couldn’t happen without them
  • Mom and Dad, for creating us
  • The rest of the family, for putting up with us
  • Clients and colleagues
  • The end of the election season
  • Children who make us smile and burst our hearts with their innocence and joy
  • Teachers, because we like to know things
  • Writers – if they didn’t record things, we’d have to figure out everything from scratch
  • Engineers, who design things big and small
  • People from other cultures, who keep us humble and teach us that there are other ways to do things
  • Medical professionals who stitch us up, diagnose us, heal us, and do their best to keep us well
  • Police and firefighters who keep us safe
  • Al Gore for inventing the Internet (not really – but we are thankful for the Internet!)
  • Factory workers, because they make all our stuff
  • People who do things we can’t do
  • People who do things we don’t want to do
  • Friends, even those we don’t often see or haven’t seen in years
  • Freshly fallen southern pecans, which I will pick up from my mother’s yard today after feasting – to work off some of that incredibly good meal
  • Farmers who grow our food
  • Truckers who bring our food to the grocery store, and who bring us other stuff
  • Grocery stores, which provide us with the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Cookbooks, without which Thanksgiving dinner would not be possible even with all of the above
  • Thanksgiving dinner – Yum!
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