I must confess – fall is my favorite season. I love the colors, the smells of pumpkin bread and hot apple cider, and (if I was in
Thanksgiving at my house tends to be a small affair, with immediate family and a few close friends. I enjoy being in a warm house with all sorts of delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, surrounded by people I care about. The fireplace is often crackling, and Mom has been baking and cooking all week. We eat a late turkey dinner, let the tryptophan kick in, and then Dad and I retire to the living room to watch the all-important Thanksgiving Day football games. Everything about that day makes me truly thankful for what God has given to me.
Nowadays, I think Thanksgiving is overlooked by our culture, getting lost in between Halloween and the December holiday season. Even though Halloween has just past, malls and department stores will be decking the halls and preparing for the Christmas holiday rush by pushing the latest toys, the bestseller books, the top CDs, and the must-have electronic devices. In this way, Thanksgiving becomes just a part of the countdown to the Christmas season; stores will have their “Thanksgiving Day Sales,” enticing consumers to kickoff the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving. Even the crowning moment of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is Santa Claus, not Tom the
While there is something to be said for getting into the holiday spirit early, I think the Thanksgiving holiday deserves more focus – particularly for us as Christians. It is a time to sit with loved ones and a time to reflect and be thankful. We gather as friends and family around the table to remind ourselves of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. And it is also a time to remember those among us who are less fortunate, and to share what we have with them.
Thanksgiving not only affords us the opportunity to be thankful for what we have on that particular day, but also to take that thankfulness and carry it with us each and every day. So I invite you this month as we approach Thanksgiving Day to name one blessing you are thankful for each day. It could be a phone conversation with a friend, having your favorite food for dinner, spending a quiet evening at home, or watching your favorite sports team win a game. Whatever it is, name it, and offer it as a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Let this spirit of thankfulness be the way we prepare our hearts for the coming holiday season.
Grace and Peace,