by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,

  To grandfather’s house we go;

       The horse knows the way 

       To carry the sleigh

  Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood—

  Oh, how the wind does blow!

       It stings the toes 

       And bites the nose

  As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,

  To have a first-rate play.

       Hear the bells ring 


  Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood

  Trot fast, my dapple-gray!

       Spring over the ground, 

       Like a hunting-hound!

  For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood,

  And straight through the barn-yard gate.

       We seem to go 

       Extremely slow,—

  It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—

  Now grandmother’s cap I spy!

       Hurrah for the fun! 

       Is the pudding done?

  Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!



I have never understood

why anyone would

roast the turkey

and shuck the clams

and crisp the croutons

and shell the peas

and candy the sweets

and compote the cranberries

and bake the pies

and clear the table

and wash the dishes

and fall into bed

when they could sit back

and enjoy a hamburger.


THE LITTLE PILGRIM (author unknown)

Cranberries dripping down my chin 

Have stained my pilgrim suit. 

I ate too much Thanksgiving day 

But I don't give a hoot. 

I slurped a pile of dressing,

Gobbled down a turkey thigh, 

Dribbled messy cranberries 

Devoured some pumpkin pie. 

Within me on this special day 

It's a thankful heart that beats. 

For all the things that I enjoy  

But mainly for the eats. 



by Alberto Rios

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.



Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

(“We Gather Together” is a Christian hymn of Dutch origin written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius as “Wilt Heden Nu Treden” to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout. It was originally set to a Dutch folk tune. In the United States, it is popularly associated with Thanksgiving Day and is often sung at family meals and at religious services on that day.)