Happy Thanksgiving, Reader!
In honor of this special day, I’m sharing a short story by an author who has been one of my favorites since childhood. First published in 1882, “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” by Louisa May Alcott reads like a piece of artwork. Descriptions are so vivid they become paintings in the reader’s mind. Lyrical phrasing is song-like. A deep message rings timeless.
As the story begins, readers are dropped into the home of the Bassett family as they prepare a Thanksgiving feast.
Sixty years ago, up among the New Hampshire hills, lived Farmer Bassett, with a house full of sturdy sons and daughters growing up about him. They were poor in money, but rich in land and love, for the wide acres of wood, corn, and pasture land fed, warmed, and clothed the flock, while mutual patience, affection, and courage made the old farm-house a very happy home.
The exemplary Bassett children are obedient, pleasant, curious, friendly, and creative.
They made a pretty picture, these rosy boys and girls, in their homespun suits, with the rustic toys or tasks which most children nowadays would find very poor or tiresome.
And, as they do in many of Alcott’s stories, bright girls and resourceful women play prominent roles.
“An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” is filled with charming details. Pewter spoons, earthen bowls, and a buttery filled with fresh-baked pies. In the corner, “a blue cradle that had rocked seven other babies.” A faithful family dog, and a snoozing cat by the fire. Fiddling and dancing “all down the long kitchen.” A “whirling white storm” outside. They all add up to a cozy story that is perfect for reading aloud as a family.
From the youngest to the oldest, each reader will enjoy this beautiful reminder of all that is to be treasured this holiday season.
Reader, what do you treasure most about this holiday season? What are you holding close this season?
If you’d like to take a few quiet moments to read this special story today, click here to link to an online version of “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving.”
Here with you, and thankful for you,