By Donald Jay Howton

This Thursday, we will observe Thanksgiving, a heartwarming day filled with thankfulness.

The Episcopal Prayer of Thanksgiving reads, “Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provisions of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

President Abraham Lincoln established the national holiday in 1863.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a resolution in 1941 establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Each Thanksgiving, family and friends gather together to enjoy a delicious feast. They might not offer thanks for an abundant harvest as our Pilgrim Fathers did in 1621, but they do offer thanks to God for their many blessings.

On this grand autumn day, all eyes will be on the bronzed bird, cornbread dressing with giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, congealed salad, green bean casserole, butternut squash, carrots, pecan pie, sweet potato pie and apple cobbler.

The dining room table will be dressed for the occasion albeit with four empty chairs. Once again, the decades-old ceramic turkeys, pilgrims and cornucopia will be placed according to tradition.

The 93-year-old Haviland accompanied by the Reed & Barton and Fostoria will grace the beautiful mahogany dining room table.

Thanksgiving is heartwarming filled with gratitude and love for the many people in our lives.