Thanksgiving as we know it originated with the Pilgrims in 1621 with a feast celebrating the survival of their first year in the New World. The party was a traditional English harvest festival and lasted three days.
The custom of an annual day for giving thanks continued through the years and in the late 1770s, a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817, New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19thCentury, other states joined in the tradition. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of Thanksgiving and, since then, each President has issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. We now celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
Thanksgiving has become the unofficial start of the holiday season. Businesses look forward to the following day, which is the national phenomenon that has become known as “Black Friday.” The origin comes from the shift to profitability for the retailers during the holiday season. It has traditionally been the time that retailers went from being unprofitable or “in the red” to being profitable or “in the black.” The Saturday after Thanksgiving is recognized in Voorhees as “Small Business Saturday,” and encourages our community to patronize small local businesses. The Monday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as “Cyber Monday” since retailers give discounts to online shoppers.
While traditions vary, Thanksgiving should remain a holiday which focuses on food, tradition, family and gratitude.
On behalf of the Township Committee, have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving
**The 25th Annual Eastern Regional High School Holiday Craft Show is Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school on Laurel Oak Road. The Craft Show will feature over 100 displays. Proceeds benefit Project Graduation and for more information contact Phil Smart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Santa Claus has arrived at the Voorhees Town Center! He will be available for photographs Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pet photos with Santa are available from 6 to 9 p.m. on Mondays. For more information about holiday events, visit www.voorheestowncenter.com.
** On Tuesday evenings through Dec. 17, the Voorhees Arts Center will be offering a free children’s art program for youth ages 8 and older. Children will experience many different opportunities to express themselves through art, including painting, sketching, photography and beading. Children can be dropped off after 6 p.m. and the program ends at 8:30 p.m. The programs are held at the Voorhees Arts Center located in the rear of the Food Court of the VTCMall. These free programs are due to the generosity of the Fetbroyt Family and Columbia Bank. For more information,contact Marianne at (609) 315-6218.