|from the Saturday Morning Citizen, Beverly, Massachusetts|
Saturday, November 27, 1886
My husband has worked for the same company for 30 years. It started as a small local engineering firm, and has grown to be merged by several international companies. When the company was small, and only in New Hampshire, the management would distribute turkeys to the employees at Christmas. Rain or Shine. Or snow! Here's Vincent distributing turkeys in 2007. Now his company is very large and international, so they give out turkey certificates. It is still appreciated, and many employees donate them to food banks.
Vincent, in the snow, passing out turkeys to employees
It seems to me that today many companies and businesses are taking away from their employees on Thanksgiving, instead of rewarding them. They make them work on the holiday, and pay them starvation wages, without bonuses or turkeys. It reminds me of Scrooge in Dicken's A Christmas Carol. In the end, Scrooge saw the error of his ways and rewarded his employee, Bob Cratchit, with a day off, a salary raise and a generous bonus- as well as a large prize winning fowl from the poulterer around the corner. That story was written in 1843.
Do you have any evidence of your ancestors' generosity to employees, or their receiving gratitude from their employers in years past? Does this tradition still continue today? The media today is full of reports of companies taking the holiday away from their employees, and one company even asked for donated cans to feed their their employees, instead of giving a gift to their employees themselves [Company shall remain nameless here].
Remember that even Scrooge gave Cratchit a turkey, and let him take the holiday off to be with his family.
|Library of Congress image (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b18267 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b18267|
22 November 1912, men walking home from work after a company raffle with their Thanksgiving turkeys
The URL for this post is
Copyright (c) 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo