This is Thanksgiving week and it is appropriate that we pause to reflect on what we have to be grateful for.
In the United States Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It was started in the late 1600s as day for the pilgrims to give thanks to God for their surviving the long and arduous journey to this new land and for the bountiful crops that would provide for their long winter. As the colonies were formed the tradition of setting aside a day or days was continued although it was celebrated in the various colonies on different days. As well as a time to give prayerful thanks, it always included feasting on the fruits of the recent harvest. It wasn’t until 1863 that it became a national holiday.
It has become a day for family, fun, football and food. And that’s fantastic.
It has also become the day that launches the Christmas shopping furor and some people’s minds are busier planning their shopping spree the following day than on what they are most grateful for.
And it’s a time of sharing with those who aren’t fortunate enough to have all that food – or even a table.
It is a time of gratitude for those who can give and those who recieve.
The media says little about gratitude in its message to buy, buy, buy. So this week we will be looking at what we have to be thankful for. Ah, and isnt’ this a great tool for self improvement?
And when you realize all the things to give thanks for, realize as well that thanksgiving doesn’t have to be kept for one day of the year. It should be a minute-by-minute celebration and it doesn’t require cooking a gigantic turkey and eating pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving – gratitude – is a matter of the heart.
We’ll talk more about it in the next few days. For now, reflect on those things in your life that you are the most thankful for.