Skip to main content

Thanksgiving Prayer - A Family Tradition

A Tate Family Thanksgiving


Our Thanksgiving Prayer or Blessing

This page tells the story of one Thanksgiving that my Dad was unable to give the Thanksgiving Blessing and we found a very special Thanksgiving prayer that became a tradition.  Prayer is and always has been a very important part of my life and sharing this story is definitely sharing a part of me and my family.I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving and have many happy memories of our Tate Family on Thanksgiving.

There are several special Thanksgivings that I remember very vividly. One was when Mom and Dad invited an older couple to join us explaining that they would be all alone that year. Mom and I made animals for the table out of peanuts and pipe cleaners. We sat them all over the table around her centerpiece which was always a large oval bowl of wax and plastic fruit. We had all given her that fruit over the years. She would also use large wooden spools from the cotton mill for the candle sticks.

The fruit that I use in my cornucopia which you will see later in a short video is that same fruit that my Mom used.

Yes, I am sentimental. Just continue to scroll to read our story.

Photo:  A Cross Stitch Tray that I did for my Dad and Stepmother for Our Tate Family Thanksgivings. I am not very good with a needle and thread so this was made with great love and now hangs in my kitchen.

Music to enjoy while reading this page. - Thanksgiving Medley

Enjoy singing along as you scroll down this page.

For the Beauty of the Earth


Happy Times Did Not Last

but our Love for Family grew stronger and stronger.

Our Mother developed Alzheimers at the early age of 56 and passed away 9 years later. These were some very hard years but we somehow managed to get through them. I remember dressing my mother for my college graduation so I really missed her during my adult years. There was so little known about Alzheimers in the 70's and at least today there are support groups and information that can be read. I pray that advances will continue to be made in the research of this dreaded disease.Alzheimer's Association.

Our Dad was seriously ill after our Mom's death and was on Intensive Care with a ruptured Aortic Aneurysm for more days than I care to remember. After he regained his strength, he started getting out more and met a wonderful woman and re-married. We began to combine her family and ours for a Tate Family Thanksgiving and there was always one thing that stayed the same. Our Dad would give the most beautiful blessing before we began dinner. He was a big man with a deep but soft voice and when he spoke, we listened. His blessings set the tone for the day and left us all with a wonderful secure feeling of "family".

We enjoyed this tradition for about 9 years and then our brother tragically passed away at the young age of 36. It was about more than we could all endure especially our Dad. Two months later was Thanksgiving and for this reason we moved the celebration to my house which was just down the hill from my Dad's. He and our sweet Step Mother were totally unable to entertain at that point, but we all felt the need to get together. The question arose about the blessing. The thought of my Dad not saying the blessing was very hard to handle but we knew that he would never be able to emotionally get through it. I started looking for a special prayer and as if I was being directed by my Mother, I pulled out her old collection of Ideals Magazines. It was there that I found the prayer that would become our new family tradition and one that we would share with others who have lost loved ones. You see, we lost our Dad the next April so this was the last Thanksgiving that we spent with him.

The holidays are always a rough time for those who have lost loved ones. This prayer helped us get through that sad Thanksgiving and remember the good times.My sisters and I, along with our families, hope that this prayer brings comfort and is as meaningful to you and yours.

Update 2016: This year we lost our oldest sister so the family of six is now just 2 from our family we grew up with.

Grace For Thanksgiving Day

by Alice Kennelly Roberts

Grace for Thanksgiving Day

Alice Kennelly Roberts

Dear God,Wherever we may be...On this Thanksgiving Day...Gathered with loved ones in our homes...Or many miles away...We bow our heads, remembering those...Who shared Thanksgiving past...Those who have walked with us awhile...Whose love will always last...We thank Thee for the joy of friends...The food before us set...And for a tiny Pilgrim band...Whose trials we can't forget...Help us to sift the good and bad...The hatred and the strife...Grant us the wisdom and the strength...To lead a useful life. Amen

I am so thankful that Alice Kennelly Roberts wrote this Thanksgiving prayer for family.

Making a Thanksgiving Card with this prayer - We now share this Thanksgiving Prayer each year


Our families now try to remember those who have lost loved ones during the year by sharing this poem either as an email, a handwritten note or a handmade card. I try to keep a list in my calendar of people who lose loved ones throughout the year and then send them one of these cards either by snail mail, email, or message on facebook.This is the card that I used last year with a patchwork type border of some of my cornucopia pictures as seen below in the little slide show along with some designs.Traditionally, we have copies for everyone at the table so that it can be read in unison. We have also used it at our Tate Family Reunions as a part of the closing ceremony.It is such a simple little prayer but goes a long way and says a lot. We think it is a great Thanksgiving prayer for family

A Letter Written Thanksgiving 1958 To Our Parents From My Sister, Betty

Our mother had sent it into the "Greenville News" Newspaper - I think they need to reprint this!

Letter to the Editor from our mother:Considering all of the publicity given to juvenile delinquency and the crimes committed by teenagers it seems only fair that publicity be given the good actions of Christian teenagers.We received the following letter from our 18 year old daughter, who is a freshman in college, and the letter gave us such a deep feeling of gratitude and pride that we would like to share it with others.We are not seeking any personal publicity and ask that all identities be omitted if you see fit to publish the letter.

Dear Mom and Dad,

As we approach the Thanksgiving Season, I cannot help but think of the many things I have for which to be thankful. First of all, I thank God for being born to you, the most wonderful parents in the world; for being born in America, a country filled with opportunity and freedom; and for being a Christian, with sincere faith in God.And second, I thank you - for now I seem to realize the importance of things such as encouragement, help, faith, warmth, security, independence and love - all of these you have given me.And third, I am thankful that I am able to realize these things and thank you, in this small way, for everything you have given me.With greatest lovefrom your daughter

Scroll to Continue

Editor's Note:Refreshing, isn't it? We found it so.The young lady has just about summed up all the things for which any of us could and should be prayerfully thankful today - "wonderful parents", "for being born in America, a country filled with opportunity and freedom", "security, faith...and love..."What else is there for any of us, and how precious they are!We could add only one more thing: devoted children such as she, and there are many of them. They give us hope for the future of this blessed land.

Ideals Magazines are Beautiful Keepsakes

My Artwork of our 1958 Thanksgiving Table - You Never Know What Your Children Will Remember!


I like to draw

I was 10 years old when I did this drawing. I remember it like it was yesterday. My birthday was in August and I had received from my folks a Jon Gnagy Art Set which included a pack of oil pastels. That is what I used to do our Thanksgiving Table. You can see the fruit bowl I was mentioning above and this time we had made turkeys out of pine cones and construction paper. I used to love to watch Learn To Draw With Jon Gnagy on television. I still enjoy painting and drawing so I guess it paid off.

I recently found out that some of the Learn to Draw With Jon Gnagy Television Shows are on YouTube. What fun to be able to look back at this show I enjoyed so much. I hope you will check it out after you finish reading this page.

Ideals Magazines on Sale at Ebay - These are such nice keepsakes

These lovely magazines were always around our home as our mother loved to read the poetry and enjoy the beautiful pictures. If you have never seen one, you might want to take a look. As you can tell, I still refer back to my mother's copies which she had bound in a big blue binder. I know in my heart that she is so happy that I am continuing to enjoy them.

Thanksgiving Decorations - I love to decorate with my Annalee Dolls


I have collected Annalees for many years and love to decorate with them. They make me happy to look at them. These are the ones that I always put in my foyer at Thanksgiving. The Pinecone Wreath was made by my mother in the 60's. It still looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving! - Hope you will leave a comment. Thanks.

Teresa P Evans on November 26, 2019:

This is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the prayer and your story. Wonderfully written and it brought to me so many memories of Thanksgivings past. I look forward to having a special Thanksgiving with our daughter, our grandchildren, our special Son-in-law and his parents. It should be a wonderful day. We will use this prayer. Thanks you so much, Nancy,

Mary Jo-11/25/2019 on November 25, 2019:

Nancy, thank you so much for sharing all of these special moments in The Tate family history. I knew your parents, Mel, and Betty since the middle 1950s when y’all moved to Pendleton. Thank you and Joan for these blessings.

Connie Rasbury on November 25, 2019:

Nancy, I love reading about your family and traditions, the happy and sad times. I love seeing your art and decorations and their history. You are so talented and so generous to share. I love you my dear cousin and friend. Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Shiela Jones Wood from Pendleton, South Carolina on November 23, 2014:

Thank you Nancy for thinking of me and sending me this prayer! I so much enjoy reading your lens. It is hard this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but I'm clinging on to Gods words to get me through!

RuthieDenise on April 30, 2014:

Thank you for sharing about your family. It touched my heart. Bless all of you.

Michey LM on November 27, 2013:

Great tradition which expresses the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Nothing is more appropriate for a gathering around the table then a prayer on this day.Happy Thanksgiving with health, prosperity and love.

Nancy Tate Hellams (author) from Pendleton, SC on November 20, 2013:

@JenniferAkers LM: Thank you so much for those kind words and for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

JenniferAkers LM on November 19, 2013:

What a wonderful lens on your family Thanksgiving prayer! I'm sentimental too, especially since my sister and I have lost so many family members. I'm going to share your page -- with all its goodies -- to friends and family on FB. Thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving to you, your sisters, and your family. Beautiful page.

Joan4 on November 19, 2013:

Back to read this one for Thanksgiving! Thank you!

OMENA777 on November 24, 2012:

I love this lens, full of loving spirit

Vikki from US on November 24, 2012:

This is just beautiful. Really.

Ruthi on November 22, 2012:

My goodness, I feel like I have joined your Thanksgiving table! Thank you for sharing such sweet memories and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving blessings and a bit o' sunshine!

anonymous on November 22, 2012:

I'm greatly touched by your lens. There might be sad stories behind your Thanksgiving themes but giving thanks about all these always gives a happy note. Your lens is quite healing.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on November 22, 2012:

Oh I so enjoyed visiting your Thanksgiving day dinner. A very happy Thanksgiving day to you and yours.

Dawnella66 LM on November 21, 2012:

Wonderful and warm messages and memories..more precious than anything we can ever find in a store..wonderful read.

WhiteOak50 on November 21, 2012:

I am lost for words~ Truly. Sending you and your family blessings for a beautiful Thanksgiving.

SPhilbrick on November 21, 2012:

Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving tradition and prayer with us. Wonderful!

Donnette Davis from South Africa on November 15, 2012:

Happy Thanksgiving 2012 x

aishu19 on November 05, 2012:

It was really lovely to read about such a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition. Happy Thanksgiving in advance

Nancy Tate Hellams (author) from Pendleton, SC on November 04, 2012:

@Joan4: I know. It was definitely one of those "God things"

Joan4 on November 04, 2012:

It is amazing to me still - your finding the special prayer, our survival of that first year after Mel's death, and the continuation of the blessings of sharing this beautiful prayer. Life does go on and indeed we have much to be thankful for in 2012!

Michey LM on October 20, 2012:

Beautiful lens, I come back to give Blessings! i love family traditions!I also like the new additions to the lens...

eccles1 on September 02, 2012:

Wonderful Thanksgiving story.

victoriuh on August 26, 2012:

This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings.

JennySui on December 08, 2011:

Congrats on LOtD!

Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on December 03, 2011:

Love the Lens

ververicka on November 29, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this lens, beautiful prayer!

anonymous on November 26, 2011:

enjoyed my visit here today, thank you.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on November 25, 2011:

Hi, and thank you for such a beautiful prayer. It would mean so much to my family to use it, if I may pass it on. we pray fro both my daughter and grandson who are in Afghanistan. I lost my mother in 1995 and my only sister in 2010, so it's so very appropriate for those we miss so much. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful lens. Blessed.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on November 25, 2011:

Hi, and thank you for such a beautiful prayer. It would mean so much to my family to use it, if I may pass it on. we pray fro both my daughter and grandson who are in Afghanistan. I lost my mother in 1995 and my only sister in 2010, so it's so very appropriate for those we miss so much. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful lens. Blessed.

fugeecat lm on November 25, 2011:

What a great prayer for Thanksgiving!

quicpost on November 25, 2011:

Hi: I hope this is permissible to let you know about Oral Rober's Healing hour on tv with his son Richard Robert who has much testimonies about being cured of everything.

DebMartin on November 25, 2011:

What a beautifully crafted lens, as is your beautiful life. Thanks for sharing so very much.

anonymous on November 25, 2011:

Thanksgiving leftovers have a whole new meaning with that LotD smile I can see shining, congratulations, I am doing the dance of joy with you!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 25, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this prayer and also your sister's letter. We often forget to be grateful for the many things we enjoy.

Ladybeams on November 25, 2011:

Very nice lens. I wish I would have seen it a little sooner as I have a couple of dear friends who lost their mothers this year, right before Thanksgiving. I too, used to watch Jon and we bought my mother the Jon Gnagy Learn To Draw kit for my mother as she was always very artfully inclined. She did some fabulous sketches, though she never had enough confidence to ever pull them out of the original sketch pad. Thanks for sharing.

Srena44 on November 25, 2011:

great lens

Wendy Hughes from Charlotte on November 25, 2011:

I loved the pictures. Pictures are tangible bits of love, life and family. My son and I were sidetracked (as most people do when cleaning) over our discovery of a shoe box filled with photos; we may as well have stumbled upon a diamond as this was surely a treasure box! After gingerly handling and admiring, laughing and crying, we closed the lid. My son said, "Pictures are more special when they're old." It was such a special moment in time for both of us. If only we had a snapshot. Thanks to all for this lens. SMILES ~Wendy

rajinsan on November 25, 2011:

Nice artwork

sittonbull on November 24, 2011:

LOTD is a fitting tribute for this Thanksgiving Lens. I can see and hear in my mind's eye and ear all the Tate's gathered around the table! Hope you all had a good one this go 'round too! ;>)

Paula7928 on November 24, 2011:

Great Lens! Love your artwork!

Paula7928 on November 24, 2011:

Great Lens! Love your artwork!

Julia Morais on November 24, 2011:

Congratulations on getting LOTD. You certainly deserved it. Wonderful lens.

Tonie Cook from USA on November 24, 2011:

If I could hit the like button more than once, I would do it here. A heart felt Happy Thanksgiving, and congratulations on a well deserved LOTD.

caketech on November 24, 2011:

I am in tears reading the prayer on your lens, because you see, today marks the 10th anniversary of my father's passing. He was taken home to be with his Savior on November 24, 2001. It is still hard for me as well at Thanksgiving. I miss him dearly, but I know he is in heaven. That gives me the hope that I will see him again one day. Thank you for sharing this beautiful is very special. Congrats on LOTD!

Joan4 on November 24, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD for one of my favorite lenses ever!

Karen Kay from Jackson, MS on November 24, 2011:

I'm so excited for you OhMe! Congrats on LOTD on Thanksgiving no less! I was inspired by this lens last year.... you're awesome!

mrducksmrnot on November 24, 2011:

Thankful for this wonderful lens. Thank you. Especially liked Johnny Cash - Thanksgiving Prayer.

aquarian_insight on November 24, 2011:

Beautiful lens and I found it so touching. Bless you & your family. Congratulations for LoTD.

lasertek lm on November 24, 2011:

Thank you for sharing.

ForestBear LM on November 24, 2011:

This is a wonderful lens. Thank you for sharing your story with us, I'm sorry for your loss and wishing you and your family all the best. And not to forget Congratulations on LOTD you are super!

norma-holt on November 24, 2011:

Wow, this is such a beautiful story and the pics and things are wonderful. It makes me wish we had something similar to your Thanksgiving in Australia but our pioneers and pilgrims were mainly convicts and believe me we owe them a big debt as they developed the land and fought hard to keep up the standards that we now enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving and this is now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Hugs.

Sheila from Omaha, NE on November 24, 2011:

Great Lens! Happy Thanksgiving to you and blessings too!

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on November 24, 2011:

Congrats on LOTD! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! Gobble, gobble from Canada!

miaponzo on November 24, 2011:

Thanks for this beautiful lens! Blessed!

Judy Goldsberry on November 24, 2011:

congratulations, and Happy Thanksgiving.

MariaMontgomery from Coastal Alabama, USA on November 24, 2011:

Wow! This says it all. That prayer is beautiful, and wonderfully comforting. I lost both my parents in the summer of 2009, and my brother, (my only sibling) just a few months later in January, 2010. Thank you for this lens.

SofiaMann on November 24, 2011:

Happy Thanksgiving day and congrats on LOTD.

Patricia on November 24, 2011:

Love the prayer and Johnny Cash song! Congrats on LOTD! Sorry for all your loss... Happy Thanksgiving! I blessed this lens and wish blessings to you and your family!

anonymous on November 24, 2011:

So pleased to see this very deserving lens get Lens of the Day Nancy - Happy Thanksgiving :)

RobinDM on November 24, 2011:

Lovely! Thanks so much for sharing your family today!

BuddyBink on November 24, 2011:

This is a most wonderful Lens of the Day for this day. Thank You

anonymous on November 24, 2011:

This was a beautiful lens. Many thanks.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on November 24, 2011:

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. May all your lives be filled with much love, peace and gratitude not only today, but everyday. Congrats on LOTD! :)

SheilaVine LM on November 24, 2011:

Thank you very much for this lovely lens

Rantsand on November 24, 2011:

A touching lens for the holiday. Thank you so much for sharing.

NidhiRajat on November 24, 2011:

wow...thanks to you for this amazing lens...

NidhiRajat on November 24, 2011:

wow...thanks to you for this amazing lens...

JoshK47 on November 24, 2011:

Certainly couldn't get through this lens with a dry eye - thank you so very much for sharing. Blessed by a SquidAngel, for this very deserving LotD.

anonymous on November 24, 2011:

thanksgiving blessing to the enire world as a family...thank u sooooo much for sharing ur family prayer with us

Dee Gallemore on November 24, 2011:

A Thanksgiving blessing . . . wonderful lens! And congrats on LOTD.

happynutritionist on November 24, 2011:

Oh this is just so beautiful and touching, so happy that this is Lens of the Day on Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing yourself. May God richly bless your Thanksgiving day.

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on November 24, 2011:

A happy Thanksgiving to you! Thanks for sharing your family story and prayer of thanks to God.

Kirsti A. Dyer from Northern California on November 24, 2011:

Thanksgiving blessings on a Thanksgiving favorite..

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on November 24, 2011:

Thanksgiving blessings to the entire Tate family. I truly appreciate your traditional prayer, Ohme. Thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

rorymullen lm on November 24, 2011:

Good Job Nancy

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on November 24, 2011:

Yay Nancy!

Bahrns on November 24, 2011:

Great lens!!! You truly deserve to be the "Lens of the Day".... Keep up the good work!!!Material Handling

Lynne Modranski from Ohio on November 24, 2011:

Thanks for sharing! Have a tremendous Thanksgiving celebration! Congrats on LOTD!

Spook LM on November 24, 2011:

Happy Thanksgiving Nancy and enjoy your special day.

anonymous on November 24, 2011:

Wonderful!You know what else is?FREE MONEY!You can get free money now by signingup here! you ever want to stop, just stop logging in.It's that simple! I have $15.06 from this site!Try it out! If not then you can just stop!

Merstarr on November 24, 2011:

I feel like I know you after having read this and you are just wonderful inside out! Thank-you for sharing a bit of your happiness. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

agoofyidea on November 24, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD! I hope your Thanksgiving is full of love and blessings. Great lens.

sidther lm on November 24, 2011:

This is such a wonderful lens! Congrats on LOTD and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

SquidooMBA on November 24, 2011:

Beautiful lens and congrats on being LOTD! Happy Thanksgiving...

anonymous on November 24, 2011:

Beautiful Thanksgiving page with memories of childhood and family traditions, a feast to the eyes.

nbrandt123 on November 24, 2011:

Blessed your lens! Happy Thanksgiving!

anonymous on November 23, 2011:

Congrats for LOTD

mumsgather on November 23, 2011:

You were only 10 when you did that wonderful drawing. Lovely.

E L Seaton from Virginia on November 23, 2011:

This is a very touching lens. Thanks for opening a window into who you are an why you are you.

poutine on November 20, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this beautiful prayer and tradition.

Michey LM on November 20, 2011:

Nancy I love traditions, and this one in particular is special and full of deep meanings for me.Happy Thanksgiving with love, health and prosperity.

Coreena Jolene on November 18, 2011:

Your love for your family shines through on this lens. Happy Thanksgiving.

anonymous on November 17, 2011:

That was wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Martha

PastorSam LM on November 16, 2011:

Beautiful Lens - thanks for posting this.I am working on my thanksgiving message for this Sunday (11/20/2011)and this was inspiring.

gravityx9 on November 09, 2011:

Lovely lens.......I love our family get togethers, but at Thanksgiving, it's just more special!

edah1308 on November 06, 2011:

thank you so much for sharing your family with us, and for the sweet memories as well as the hard times that still cause us to be thankful.

jseven lm on October 28, 2011:

Whoops, it did win a purple heart, yay!!

jseven lm on October 28, 2011:

So sorry for all of your losses, you will greatly rejoice together in heaven someday. :) I love this lens and hope it wins a purple heart.

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 28, 2011:

I am crying so first, so sorry for ALL your losses. I've lost 2 sisters and both parents, so I know how hard it is to express a lens as this. But thank you for a beautiful Thanksgiving poem and lens!

Related Articles