Thanksgiving is upon us, and I can’t help but feel nostalgic and eager to spend this day with family and dear friends. This day is about reflection, joy, togetherness, and…most importantly gratitude.
This is the day in which we gather together and count our blessings, create new blessings, and share our blessings with one another.
One of my favorite things to do is talk with my children about all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for in our lives. We talk about how important the small stuff is and how meaningless the materialistic stuff often is.
We talk about why giving of time, talent, and support is more meaningful than giving money or things to others (though, yes – at times – money and ‘things’ are necessary items that people do need).
We talk about WHY we celebrate Thanksgiving…
You see, it’s not just about being grateful to each other for all we have, it’s about being grateful to God for all we have.
To me, it is one of the most special holidays – because we are Giving Thanks and turning our thoughts inward and our praise outward.
2 years ago, a very troubling trend began – some stores chose to open on Thanksgiving Evening. I was less than pleased with this concept, and it seemed that a lot of others weren’t too fond of the idea either. After we put the kids to bed, Ralph and I decided to take a late night drive to the stores to see if it was going to be a flop (I actually thought it would be). I don’t know why I was so surprised to see how insane the lines were.
I guess part of me was hoping that just ONE ENTIRE DAY would be untouched by the materialistic overtones that we, as a society, have perpetuated.
Disappointing to say the least.
Last summer, I was utterly disgusted when I started seeing Christmas decorations in stores. We hadn’t even had Labor Day yet!!!!!
By the time we were nearing Halloween, the store isles began to look more like “Holiday Wars” than anything else.
And, when Halloween was over – there wasn’t much about Thanksgiving anywhere
….just Christmas….Christmas…and more Christmas.
This year, again – the stores are opening (for a second year in a row) on Thanksgiving.
2 years ago, the stores opened in the evening. Last year, there are department stores that are open at 6 a.m. and this year, they are doing the same thing~
At the rate we’re going – if we don’t put an end to it now – Black Friday (or what I call – Thoughtless Thursday) will be a thing of the past and we’ll start seeing Christmas ads and drop down drag out chaos for Christmas shopping starting on Halloween….or Labor Day….and Thanksgiving will be a forgotten tradition.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas….but I’m beginning to resent the fact that I’ve had to live with seeing things about it since August.
It sucks the life right out of it.
It takes the ‘special’ out of it.
Too much of ANYTHING is a bad thing…
Why is everyone in such a rush to shove holidays down our throats…and why do we allow it?
I hate that the almighty dollar dictates what is important….
If you think about it, in a lot of ways, Thanksgiving never had a chance – sandwiched in between candy and gifts – the forgotten but sacred day of ‘Giving Thanks’ hangs back in the shadow of ghastly decorations and celebrations
Crazy sales and specials,
And running people over for the next best thing.
Yep, totally forgotten…
So this Thanksgiving, I urge you to stay with your family if you can. Celebrate a day of complete Thankfulness, Gratitude, and Giving.
Make an effort to spend ONE DAY focused on the blessings that you have (and the people that you have) in your life and be satisfied with what you have right in front of you. To those who DO have to work, I hope that you are at least able to have some time reflecting and sharing some time with friends and family.
To those who are serving our country overseas or here on our own streets keeping us safe and those who are taking care of those in need in the hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and so on – my gratitude overflows beyond expression for your sacrifice and dedication to those in need.
May you all find true blessing in this Thanksgiving Day.
May you rejoice in the beauty of togetherness.
May you find great joy in giving back to others in need.
And most of all – may you never forget the preciousness of every special moment that has been given to you to behold and savor.
Love and Light,
*Written in 2012 and edited for 2013.