Here in the United States we are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving. At Carrot Top Studio we love this holiday because it is not terribly commercial. We can simply take the time to be reverent for the gifts of the earth at this harvest festival. Interestingly our American commemoration of the Pilgrim's feast might be a carry over from the European tradition of St. Martin’s Day which celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of the harvest.

Many faith communities gather on Thanksgiving Eve or Thanksgiving morn to worship. In addition to worship banners and minister’s stoles that represent the colors of a fall harvest, churches might enjoy the use of a cross created out of sheaves of wheat and offertory processions that include food items that can be distributed to those in need. Our home congregation includes the giving of five pieces of corn to each family. We take them home and place them on our table as a visual reminder of the hardships the Pilgrims endured. The story has been handed down that this faithful community of Pilgrims was able to be thankful to their Lord even on days when they only had five pieces of corn to eat.

I’ll close by sharing a favorite recipe that usually graces our Thanksgiving table:

Pumpkin Apple Bake
Clean out a medium pumpkin. Fill with a mixture of raisins, chopped apples, nuts, dates, cranberries, dried apricots, a small amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. The amounts are very flexible and you can use items that you enjoy that you might typically find in fall pies. Pour fruit and nut mixture into the pumpkin, dot with butter. Bake on a cookie sheet 1 hour 15 min.-1 hr. 30 min. The pumpkin will turn a lovely deep color and can be used as the center piece on your table for you to serve the wonderful warm fruit directly from.

And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Thank you, Amen.