The Thanksgiving Ceremony: New Traditions for America’s Family Feast

When we think about Thanksgiving we contemplate history, the autumn harvest, and, of course, eating turkey and watching football. But most of all, we think about family, friends, and the bounty of our country. Edward Bleier’s The Thanksgiving Ceremony introduces a brand-new tradition for the Thanksgiving table, offering a wonderful way for all Americans to give thanks and rejoice in the sense of togetherness and community this special holiday brings.The heart of the book is a participatory ceremony designed to be read aloud around the table. It recounts the story of the early settlers and the challenges they, and all subsequent immigrant generations, faced. The ceremony provides roles for guests of all ages and takes about twenty minutes. There is also a brief history of Thanksgiving, as well as a wide array of poems, hymns, songs, prayers, and readings that enable families to create and customize their own ceremony, including pieces by Maya Angelou, Irving Berlin, Woodie Guthrie, and Emily Dickinson. As William Safire writes in his foreword, “Getting together for a grand dinner party may be glorious fun, but a holiday should have a focus”—one that reminds us why we celebrate it. This long-overdue book offers that focus in a short, elegant format that any gathering of family and friends can participate in, and enjoy, for many years to come.Praise for The Thanksgiving Ceremony: "The Thanksgiving Ceremony is a small gem—a book that brings to life the history, songs, and traditions, old and new, of the most widely celebrated holiday of the year. This is a buoyant book, full of hope and praise of all that makes us Americans."—Julie Nixon Eisenhower"There are times, like these, when it's important to count our blessings. Ed Bleier's delightful book lets us do the math."—Alan Alda and Arlene Alda"This great country has provided the 'music' and this book provides the eloquent 'lyrics' for the Thanksgiving tables of all Americans, regardless of race or religion. It's a joyous tribute to who we are, and can be, as Americans."—Quincy Jones"Over the years, I've had so many Thanksgiving dinners with Ed and Magda that when Ed Bleier talks turkey, all of us listen."—Steven Spielberg"The Thanksgiving Ceremony is a wonderful and moving idea. It is central to what we celebrate and a happy reminder of why America's principles endure as they do."—Peter Jennings and Kayce Freed

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