Thanksgiving is becoming the forgotten holiday. Halloween grows bigger every year and as soon as it is over Christmas decorations go up. Indeed, Christmas shopping once started on “Black Friday” but I have been seeing “Black Friday” sales for weeks and we are not yet to Thanksgiving.
Growing up Thanksgiving was an all-day affair: cooking all morning or parades to watch on Television then lunch followed by football and woven through all of it was family time. Relatives and football in the yard during halftime were the order of the day.
One of the few good things that came out of the pandemic was that some stores actually stayed closed on Thanksgiving but I suspect that is another thing that will be in the past. But as for me and my house, I love that we set aside a day to give thanks! Are there things that you can give thanks for this year? We have almost made it through Hurricane season as I write and I know the season is not over but I am thankful that we have made it this far. If you are reading this, you have a lot for which to be thankful but it is easy to take our blessings for granted to assume that everything will continue as it has been. Every day is a gift from God and every day that we live, we should be giving thanks. We give thanks, not because everything is good, but because in all things, God is at work to bring about good.
It is my hope that we can grow thanksgiving as a habit that goes all year long and isn’t confined to a day but the only way that happens for any of us is to first make it a goal. Every New Year we start with resolutions that don’t make it very far but setting a goal can be different. When I set a goal, I try to look ahead and start right now. One of the problems with resolutions is that we wait to get started until January 1. If you want to make thanksgiving a daily habit start right now, take a few minutes and think or maybe make a list: health, family, job or retirement? Maybe none of those things is going as well as you hoped but are there things in there that you can rejoice and give thanks for? On any given day, you don’t have to create a comprehensive list but you can find something every day for which to be thankful.
For me, I give my thanks to God but thanksgiving is still a valuable habit even if God is not part of your beliefs because it puts life in perspective. Not everything is perfect for any of us but there can be a long list of things for which we ought to be thankful and maybe there is someone you should be giving thanks to but I will leave that up to you. Don’t let Thanksgiving get swallowed up by the pursuit of stuff because what endures are memories and relationships.
Happy Thanksgiving 2023