Today, I learned from Rabbi Meir Soloveichik (at his inaugural address at Congregation She'arith Israel) that there's an interesting connection between Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Both were inspired by the Biblical event of King Solomon thanking the Creator for allowing the Holy Temple to be finally built; thereby, fulfilling a deeply seated milestone in humanity's spiritual growth.
Additionally, Rabbi Soloviechik pointed out that the Temple's master craftsman was a Jew who was culturally and religiously estranged from his Jewish roots. He lived in Phoenicia and had a Phoenician name "Hiram" (very unusual during the first commonwealth era). So it turned out that the building of God's Holy Temple was a collaborative between Jews on all levels of the religious/spiritual spectrum - from the most religiously immersed Jew, King Solomon, to the least immersed, Hiram the craftsman.
It seems only logical to me that the such collaboratives between all kinds of people (on various levels) will normally occur on the eve of the messianic era - bringing forth a new dawn.