The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday can be traced back to 1621 in Plymouth, MA. It originated as an expression of gratitude for the blessings of the harvest and of the preceding year. It occurred at various times throughout history until 1941, when FDR signed a joint resolution of Congress fixing Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. And it's been that day ever since.
Thanksgiving has become a holiday of gathering with family and friends, consuming a huge meal, usually with turkey as the centerpiece, and watching lots of parades and football. My wife has a rather large family, five siblings and close to 15 first cousins; so Thanksgiving for us is usually a 40-person affair, no matter whose house it winds up at. And since we have five children, two of whom are away at college and the other three under 5 years old, it's one of the few times during the year I get to have everyone together in the same place at the same time. I truly cherish these moments.
For us at Marcum, Thanksgiving becomes a 4-day weekend. We traditionally close the Friday after Thanksgiving, as we will again this year, giving all of our team members a much-needed break in a profession where we have too few days off. The long weekend may be a given at other companies, but for us it is a special treat since we are open on many holidays during the year when others are closed, in order to meet filing deadlines. The period from Thanksgiving to Christmas turns into a sprint for us, with year-end tax planning and interim audit work done in advance of our traditional busy season, which gets underway in January. The 4-day weekend actually seems like a vacation most years and is an opportunity to re-energize for the year-end race to the finish.
So this week I'd like to use this column to thank you for your business, your friendship and your trust in all of us at Marcum, and to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. May you take as much joy in your family and friends as I do in mine. Since we're closed next Friday, I will take a break from writing but will be back again on December 6 with my next posting.
For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, which begins Wednesday night at sundown and continues for eight days, may your candles burn bright.