Can you imagine not having Thanksgiving? It is such a wonderful time to gather and re-connect with family and friends in thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. I thought I knew everything about Thanksgiving; how the Native American Indians saved the Pilgrims from starving and how the Pilgrims held a big Feast for them in thanks but I was surprised to learn, we almost lost Thanksgiving! A few years ago I had to read at my sons school at Thanksgiving time and I needed to find a book. At the library I was drawn to a book titled, Thank You, Sarah ( my daughter’s name). I thought it would be another sweet little story about the holiday but wow this was the “True” story about Thanksgiving and introduced me the extraordinary life of Sarah Hale.
Sarah Hale loved the idea of Thanksgiving and celebrating as a family just as most of us do. People In New England were celebrating it but the other states were ignoring it. She decided that she needed to do something to save the holiday and began a 38 year quest to save it. In 1863, President Lincoln made Thanksgiving official, a day to give thanks and gather together. For me as a publisher and Mom here is where the story begins. Not only did Sarah accomplish the amazing feat of saving Thanksgiving, she did it while raising five children, writing poetry, children’s books and novels. She was the first female magazine editor in America publishing famous authors like Henry Wadsworth, Longfellow and Edgar Allen Poe. She even wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. This woman was the original supermom! She also fought for playgrounds, schools for girls, historical monuments, stood up against slavery and was a single Mom; widowed by her husband. During this time, Sarah Hale became one of the most influential people defining American taste. Her magazine is credited with an ability to influence fashions not only for women’s clothes, but also in domestic architecture.
When I pulled out the book, Thank You Sarah to read to my younger son today, I decided it was time to share her story. I still can’t believe how this simple children’s book could introduce me to such a kindred spirit. Sarah Hale saves Thanksgiving, is the first female magazine editor, raises five kids by herself, helps define fashion and interior design for her day and fights for everything she is passionate about. This woman is my idol!