This is one of my favorite holidays. No question about it! I love what we celebrate and what this holiday means to me. Recently I asked a number of people what Thanksgiving meant to them. Most replied with some version of, “Family, food, and football!” Still others belted out a hearty, “Black Friday deals!” Really?
Don’t get me wrong. Those who know me well know that I love my family! I love food! And I even love football when it means we are all together watching it and eating the food! And those who know me well know that I love a good deal! But seriously. Have we completely forgotten what this holiday means?
During the Civil War, back in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday ever since. I think President Lincoln knew something we need to remember: Our blessings come from above and it is beneficial to thank the One who gave them.
So, while I am truly grateful for my family, food, football, and a great deal, I am grateful for ever so much more everyday–friends, the sun coming up again, my warm bed, my car to get me where I need to go, my dog, laughter, that I can walk…talk…smell…feel…hear… and taste the many delights these senses afford me daily. The list goes on and on. Life can be a bear sometimes. Yet, an attitude of gratitude can break through the burdens we may be bearing to lift us up. It has truly transformed my life. If you have not had this experience, I invite you to join me in thanking God this Thanksgiving–and every day–for His many blessings. Your joy and peace quotient will surge!
I read this quote the other day, which so succinctly encourages us to have this attitude of gratitude:
“It is not the happy people who are thankful; it is the thankful people who are happy.”
And as Doris Day once said, “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.”
So, go out there and get those good deals…enjoy your family, food, and football. But by all means, take time to truly GIVE THANKS! What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!