The American Benevolent Society (ABS) hosted its annual Thanksgiving Day luncheon at Christ Church on Thursday, Nov. 24, with a turnout of nearly 100 ABS members and their guests.
In addition to a sumptuous meal of roasted turkey, sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked carrots, green beans, corn, yams and cranberry sauce, attendees were invited to start off the day with an open bar of cider, wine and mixed drinks.
There were also cream cheese and cilantro canapés for starters, a marshmallow fruit salad and, of course, pumpkin pie topped with freshly whipped cream for dessert.
Christ Church Anglican-Episcopal Parish Rector Francis N. Hebert offered the blessing and ABS board member Frances Huttanus read a moving passage about the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
ABS executive director Barbara Franco welcomed everyone present with a summary of the society’s activities, including its ongoing efforts to help undocumented binational children become registered in both the United States and Mexico.
Franco also spoke about the ABS’ program to help people write a living will to be able to donate organs and remain off life-support machines in case of a tragic, irreversible accident.
After the meal, there was a bingo game with exciting prizes.
The ABS has hosted annual Thanksgiving feasts for the U.S. community in Mexico since shortly after its founding 147 years ago.
In 1817, the state of New York adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual institution, and by the middle of the 19th century, other northern states had adopted the custom.
Thanksgiving Day was first celebrated as a national U.S. holiday in 1863, in accordance with the proclamation issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln as a gesture of reconciliation after the American Civil War.
Since then, each U.S. president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.