The past year had been a killer for the members of this group. A literal killer that is, nearly half of its members hadn’t survived the difficult conditions of the previous twelve months.

That might sound like the annual report from any number of trade associations considering how difficult the economy has been of late, but it’s really the state of affairs of the Plymouth colonists as they prepared for the first Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Thanksgiving first became a national holiday in 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” Despite its noble origins, modern Thanksgiving Day festivities have developed economic significance beyond the celebration of a bountiful harvest. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, a busy time for travelers, restaurants, theater goers, and winter vacation resorts.

In the late 1930’s, another time when those in government looked wherever it could for economic stimulation, President Roosevelt moved the official Thanksgiving celebration one week earlier in an effort to help business by lengthening the shopping period before Christmas. As with most short term political expediencies for economic stimulation, this one was short lived. Tradition was reinstated two years later when Congress ruled that Thanksgiving Day would return to the fourth Thursday of November.

Leaving the politics and economics aside, there are a lot of employees who are thankful for a management……

Who had something to do with hiring them and makes them feel wanted.

Who helps them to get acquainted with their job when they are new.

Who explains their responsibilities and just what is expected of them.

Who tells them frequently how they are doing – what they do well and what they don’t do so well – who shows them how to do better.

Who not only thinks of them for what they are, but also for what they may become.

Who takes a personal interest in them and their problems.

Who listens to their ideas for making the job easier and better.

Who has something to do with their pay and takes the initiative to insure that they are fairly compensated.

Who stands up for them when they are right.

Who is honest and straightforward with them.

Who tells them about changes before they are made.

And even in hard times, there are a lot of employers out there looking for employees…………

Who like their job.

Who know their job.

Who want to work and get ahead.

Who show up everyday ready to work.

Who are always on the job both mentally and physically.

Who are cheerful – not sullen.

Who is enthused by a job well done.

Who try to avoid waste and look for a better way to do the job.

Who tell the truth and are sincere.

Who work with a spirit of team work.

Who ask questions when then need help.

Who try to understand the bosses point of view and the needs of the business.

Politics and economic aside, it’s people, both at home and on the job, that we are most thankful for as we approach Thanksgiving 1991. And in that respect, things haven’t changed all that much since that first Thanksgiving Day.