I love Thanksgiving. It's not the football - although I like football. It's not the awesome meal - although I don't turn down too many good meals. It's not hanging out with family and friends, although I certainly do love hanging out with family and friends. These are all great and wonderful things, but they are not the reason I love Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving for its simplicity and pureness. Think about it for second. All other holidays have been commercialized beyond comprehension. Christmas, New Years, Halloween, Valentines day, even 4th of July have all be commercialized. They are about buying stuff that you need for “perfect” holiday. Presents, cards, candy, fireworks, etc. etc. We’ve lost the reason for these holidays; they are just commercials for big companies to make some big money. Certainly Christmas is the worst, but the other holidays are catching up quickly. There’s no pressure for any of this on Thanksgiving. Sure we all probably spend a little more time making a bigger meal. We spend a little more food, maybe a little more gas to drive to someone’s house and certainly the turkey industry has a great season. But Thanksgiving isn’t about how much you spend, or what you get, or sending cards, it’s simply about being thankful.

Part of Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving reads

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God… They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

I like that. Spend time giving thanks. In our society we seem to spend a lot more time complaining than we do giving thanks. I wonder what our relationships with our family members would be like if we more thankful for that fact that they are in our lives. I wonder if we’d be happier on the job if we were thankful for the work and paycheck. I wonder if we’d be involved with our government (ie, we’d vote at election time) if we if we were thankful that we live in a republic that practices democracy. I wonder if we’d be more content with our house or car, if we were more thankful that we have a place to live and we don’t have to walk. I believe having a spirit of thankfulness would have a huge impact on our daily lives.

I hope you take just a moment or two this holiday and give thanks, it’s important.

No comments: