The 100th chapter of Psalms from The Holy Bible and the poem "Thanksgiving" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox are both excellent choices for Thanksgiving Day readings. Other appropriate readings from the Bible include Psalm 145 and the 12th chapter of Isaiah. Other poems that capture the spirit of Thanksgiving include "A Thanksgiving Poem" by Paul Laurence Dunbar and "Fire Dreams" by Carl Sandburg.

Historically associated with the blessings of the harvest, Thanksgiving is a nationally recognized holiday celebrated in the United States and several other countries. Thanksgiving traditions in many American families center around a bountiful table and prayers or statements of gratitude. In the United States, Thanksgiving ushers in a holiday season that leads up to Christmas and the ringing in of a new year.

Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving since the country's earliest days. The date and location of the first American Thanksgiving holiday are not universally settled, but many historians agree that the celebratory feast took place in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621.

Although it was already celebrated by most states at the time, the holiday was formalized by a presidential proclamation by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. This proclamation established a consistent date for the holiday, the last Thursday of November. The date was clarified as the fourth Thursday of November in 1941 by a joint resolution of Congress signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.