Thanksgiving was first proclaimed as a national celebration on October 3, 1789, by President George Washington. He declared “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Sometimes, though, you just don’t feel grateful. Perhaps you have a difficult relationship with family members, or your holiday often features contentious political disagreement. That could make a day centered on thanks difficult.

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