Thanksgiving traditions should be passed on

Published 9:14 am Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pat Mulso, Preserving the Past

With the nice weather we’ve had this fall it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Thanksgiving originated with the Pilgrims in 1621 when they celebrated the first harvest of the Plymouth Colony. It became an official holiday in 1863. In the United States we celebrate on the fourth Thursday in November, but in Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Pat Mulso

Do you have special Thanksgiving Day traditions? Are they the same as when you were a child? If they are different, have you shared your past traditions with your grandchildren? Do they know how you celebrated this holiday with your grandparents?

This is a national holiday set apart for giving thanks to God. We too often dwell on all the things that are not right or good in our lives or around us, but this is a holiday when we should take the opportunity to Thank God for the many blessings that we have.

For our families and friends, for the good food we have on our tables and for our freedoms. We take many of these things for granted, until we no longer have them. The most precious gift you can give to your children and grandchildren is your time and attention.

For many, the holidays are stressful times, but they don’t need to be, relax and enjoy being together, if you forgot to make something or the dessert didn’t turn out as you had planned, nobody is going to care. If you take time to play a game or listen to the needs of the young or old, you’ll gain more pleasure than most would ever expect.

If you are celebrating the holiday alone, consider visiting someone at one of our local nursing homes, play a game of cards, read to them or better yet, ask them how they spent Thanksgiving Day as a youngster and watch them smile as they think back to a time they spent with their family.

We have been working hard at the museum to prepare for our annual Christmas Gathering that will take place on Sunday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. Last year, as many of you will remember, we decorated the village at the museum and many of you drove by to see the beautiful lights.

This year we have added even more lights and decorations and will have them on during our annual event so you can stroll through the village and enjoy the spirit of the season. We are also planning to have the village open on Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. This will be a great family outing and the cost will be $1 for adults and members and children 11 and under are free.

The museum hosted a 4-hour AARP Defensive Driving Class on Tuesday, Nov. 16. This was their last class until after the first of the year.

We are in the midst of our annual membership drive. We want to say thank you to the 176 members that have already renewed their FCHM memberships for 2011. If you have not joined, there’s no better time than now. By joining now, you get the rest of 2010 as well as all of 2011. The cost is $25 per household, any donation above that is tax deductible. Membership certificates are available if you would like to give a membership for a gift. Membership donations provide the largest part of our operating budget and help us to keep our doors open and programs running. Please consider becoming a member so we can continue building the future by preserving the past.

Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.