Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, America!  I hope you’re enjoying this most American of all holidays.  It dates back to the earliest American settlements, was first declared by President George Washington in 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God," and set on the last Thursday in November by Abraham Lincoln.

Today, the best way I can think of for everyone to enjoy it is to turn off the news and not bring up politics over the turkey and dressing.  Ignore the impeachment and just concentrate on the peach cobbler. Trust me, your family members will be extra thankful for that.

Like many things that make America great, Thanksgiving is under assault by the left, from atheist groups railing against having a national holiday to thank God to leftwing “educators” who are trying to eradicate the Thanksgiving story from schools. Talking about the Native Americans helping the Pilgrims and the Pilgrims inviting them to a feast in gratitude implies that American history isn’t an endless litany of racist genocide and white supremacy, and they can’t have that. 

But Thanksgiving is not only a time when we give thanks for our many blessings as Americans (this year, I am particularly thankful for the “mute” button on the TV remote control), it’s also a time when we gather together as families and get reacquainted with relatives we don’t see any other time of year.  That’s why on Thanksgiving, I always like to share the story of a very special relative from my childhood.  I usually saw him only once a year, but he taught me a lesson that helped make me what I am today and for which I still give thanks.  

When I was a boy in Hope, Arkansas, one thing about the holidays I most looked forward to was the annual visit from my Uncle Garvin.  Garvin Elder was my mother’s half-brother from her dad’s first marriage, and so much older than her, he was like a grandpa to my sister and me.  He was an accountant and a lifelong bachelor from Houston, and he cut quite an impressive figure whenever he arrived by bus in Hope. 

He owned stocks (I could hardly imagine such a thing!) and carried a real leather suitcase with travel tags, not like the cardboard suitcase we owned but never used.  And he wore a suit, tie and starched white shirt -- every day! In our town, if you saw a man in a suit, it could mean only one of two things: either it was Sunday, or he was going to or coming from a funeral.

Over the holidays, while my parents were at work, Uncle Garvin was the only adult in the house.  So when he wasn’t taking his daily unbreakable appointment with the “Perry Mason” rerun, I would constantly pester him to play checkers with me.  Now you must understand, this was in the days before self-esteem classes and helicopter parents.  Uncle Garvin didn’t realize how impolite, damaging, even psychologically traumatic and triggering it was to beat the daylights out of a sensitive young boy at checkers.  No, he played to win.  And he relished beating me…which he did, over and over and over. 

Of course, I hated losing to him.  But that just made me want to challenge him again.  Over time, I gradually got better until I actually beat him occasionally.

Looking back now, I realize what a huge favor Uncle Garvin did for me by developing my competitive spirit.  These days, we’ve built a society of handwringers so afraid of hurting a child’s self-esteem that everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, no matter how poorly they perform.  We’ve taken away their incentive to work hard and get better. 

This is the same mindset that’s given us incompetent CEOs who crash companies, then run to the government for a bailout because they’re “too big to fail.”  And idiots in government who bail them out with money they confiscate from hardworking taxpayers, because it’s “not fair” that some succeed when others don’t.  And who also think that "fairness" means taking money away from people who earn it and giving it to people who don't work but do vote. 

Call me crazy, but I believe there’s something to be said for competition and for rewarding hard work, talent and intelligence. And there’s a lot to be said for the lessons learned and the character built through trying your best, losing and trying again.

So every Thanksgiving, when I’m giving thanks to God for my countless blessings, I include a little prayer of thanks for my Uncle Garvin…and for all those long-ago checker games that were so painful to lose at the time.

And of course, I’m thankful for all the folks who help me create my newsletters and website and my show on TBN, and all of you who read and watch.  I hope to be giving thanks for that for many Thanksgivings to come!

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Comments 26-50 of 236

  • Shelley Jordan

    11/29/2019 04:02 AM

    I am very thankful for your Uncle Garvin because of who you have become and what you have created to share on TBN and through the email newsletter! You are such a blessing to America!! I am very thankful for you!

  • Pati Hall

    11/29/2019 01:17 AM

    Thank you Governor for saying what you did. I too, am grateful for what my elders taught me.None of this entitlement stuff. I had to earn what I had. Nothing was handed to me. I own everything I have and worked hard for it. Even survived a divorce and I got my home without kids. Unheard of in this town. I fiercely protect what I have.
    I love your commentaries. Your right on the mark. I am very thankful for what I have, you, and TBN

  • Jean M Lyon

    11/29/2019 12:39 AM

    We love you shows featuring a variety of guests. Thank you

  • Ben Jennings

    11/29/2019 12:36 AM

    I was in public teaching and administration for about four decades before retiring. I began substitute teaching in the location where we retired. You are correct in labeling an era of progressive “left wing” educators in our public schools is very common.

  • Frank Chickilly

    11/29/2019 12:18 AM

    I thank God for you, Mike.

  • Ed Wilson

    11/28/2019 11:08 PM

    Governor,
    I enjoyed your Thanksgiving story about your Uncle Garvin.
    It reminded me of my Uncle Ben. My uncle never had much money and perhaps indulged in a few beers when he found work in the early 1950s.
    Uncle Ben would take my younger brother and me for walks along the railroad tracks, walking on the ties and the steel rails while listening and looking for the next train. We would walk along the banks of the Susquehanna River looking for flat stones that Uncle Ben would use to teach us how to “skip “ across the flowing water by the railroad tracks.
    My best memory of my Uncle Ben is...he made my brother and me laugh. No matter what was going on in my life as a young boy, when Uncle Ben came to visit us my world
    became a happy place.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Love the Huckabee show on TBN and Governor, you make me laugh.
    God bless you and yours,
    Ed

  • Bonnie R. Parvino

    11/28/2019 10:54 PM

    MIKE----REPENTANCE OF OUR SINS SHOULD COME BEFORE THANKSGIVING.>>>I BELIEVE THE GIVING OF THANKS, BRINGS FORTH PRAISES TO OUR GOD.>>>THANKSGIVING IS THE "GRADUALLY OPENING DOOR" TO THE "CHRISTMAS SEASON.">>> AS WE PRAISE OUR GOD, WE CELEBRATE THE GREATEST GIFT EVER GIVEN TO MAN BY GOD HIMSELF.>>>HE SENT FORTH, TO US HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SERVED AND WAS SACRIFICED AS THE LAMB OF GOD.>>> GOD PROVIDED THE LAMB.>>>WHAT A WONDERFUL GOD WE SERVE. BONNIE R. PARVINO

  • Tammy Jones

    11/28/2019 10:08 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving Mike Huckabee to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom.

  • Denise Boland

    11/28/2019 09:53 PM

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • William Morley

    11/28/2019 09:41 PM

    Thank you very much for your story. It must have been a joy to work with the challenge of at one time in the future you would meet the challenge. Today is the day that we should thank our Heavenly Father for the love and thankfulness he gave to us by sending His only Son Jesus. We have the love that we can share with those that are less fortunate than ourselves. I look forward each day to read your letters and reports. Our love and prayers go out to you every day.
    Bill and Gloria Morley

  • Charles Nicholson

    11/28/2019 09:10 PM

    Everyone should have an "Uncle Garvin"! Earlier today my wife-65 years and counting- and I talked about the "jobs"we had AND enJOYed through our school years! We have been blessed to have 3 sons and two daughters-in-law who appreciate EARNING a living!

  • Linda Hosse

    11/28/2019 09:08 PM

    Thanks Governor Huckabee for this uplifting letter, and giving us a glimpse into your childhood (sounds a whole lot like mine) Hope your day was awesome with your family & friends.
    Always,
    Linda


  • Carol Bell

    11/28/2019 08:50 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Hope you and your family had a blessed day!
    Carol Bell

  • Paul T. Kern

    11/28/2019 08:18 PM

    I send emails and look for a response. i never get any. it's very disappointing as I look for real news here and a couple of other reliable sites.

  • Gerald "Wayne" Harris

    11/28/2019 07:48 PM

    What a great message and I so concur. I've been missing your show since you left FNC but recently found you on TBN. You tell it like it ought to be instead of the leftwing networks that tell it like they want it to be. I hope you and your family had a Blessed Thanksgiving and wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

  • Richard Paul

    11/28/2019 07:48 PM

    Your story of Uncle Garvin is the same story of me and my Dad. We played a lot of checkers as I grew up and my Dad beat the socks off me every time. He never LET me win. I had to earn it. In my senior year of high school, I kept a record and beat him 48 o/o of the time. Thanks for the reminder. And so you know, I grew up in Harrison, Ark.

  • Betsy Norton

    11/28/2019 07:27 PM

    Thank you for your way of interviewing & allowing others to voice their views while you very calmly give yours. Thanks also for your hospitality to those who come to your shows. You’re a great example to others.

  • BobandDee Lynch

    11/28/2019 06:42 PM

    Mike, I appreciate your thoughts on any issue, of which there are many. However, I have many ???s on the Chick-fil-A issue. Could you please have Dan Cathey on your show so we can get the whole, real story from him? Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family.

  • Nancy Bowers

    11/28/2019 06:30 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Really enjoy reading your newsletter and listening to you on TV

  • David Ahlerich

    11/28/2019 06:15 PM

    Gov. Huckabee, Sir I would like to give thanks and a prayer to you Sir, I enjoy your show on TBN and I really like your news letters. Here's wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving also, and hopping you left room for desert. :) God bless you Sir .

  • Freddie N Verner

    11/28/2019 05:59 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving Governor. How would like to lunch a project to make houses around the World storm proof?

  • DAN J.ROLCZYNSKI

    11/28/2019 05:55 PM

    AND A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU MIKE...LOVE YOUR SHOW ON SATURDAY ON TV...MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALSO...

    DAN

  • judith jakub

    11/28/2019 05:38 PM

    totally agree, honest competition is the best character builder we have in our lives. It's very disheartening to see the pandering people demonstrate for below par performances and half-baked achievements. If our ancestors resorted to such idiocy, we would not be the great nation we are, today, even with all the near misses we've had over the years, with mediocre presidents and legislatures who think they know what is best for us, but are really enhancing their own egos and wallets. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. God bless and keep you healthy and happy, ALWAYS.

  • Paul Kern

    11/28/2019 05:32 PM

    I grew up old school so understand the real meaning of the holiday.
    I live in the Pacific Northwest and and as a single man have seen how established and millennial reject singles and others who don't fit the mold. Sad that they are American churches and carry on same old attitudes. As someone said "I didn't leave the church, the church left me" All I can do is remember a song Pat Boone sang " me and Jesus got our on thing going"
    I appreciate your articles as they are a good antidote to the denial I see a lot of.

  • Helen Corey

    11/28/2019 05:25 PM

    I’m thankful to be born and live in a country that I’m free to worship as I wish and not have to pray secretly.