Well, Halloween is finally over, with two more major holidays looming in the distance. Maybe “looming” is too dark a word though. I GREATLY enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always have and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
For now, though, we will focus on Thanksgiving.
There are SO many stories about the “true” Thanksgiving, how it came to be and what made it what it is today. You could easily get lost in all those stories, and I’m speaking from experience, because I have done so! You can read one story here, from the National Geographic, which tries to be historically accurate. Wikipedia has quite a bit of information here, with one section devoted to the controversy surrounding it. You can do a bit of searching yourself and find countless tales of the “first thanksgiving” and they will all have some similarities while also all having contradictory information.
Here in America, Thanksgiving has become about as secularized as any holiday can be. While it isn’t nearly as touted in retail outlets as Halloween and Christmas, there are countless isles saved for all the “fixin’s” of Thanksgiving. Turkey timers, basters, bags and roasting pots. Boxed dressing, canned pumpkin, jellied cranberry sauce. Why, you can even call ahead to a great many grocery stores and department store deli’s and have the whole thing catered, for less than you might pay putting it all together in the first place. And I won’t lie…the first time I ever cooked a Thanksgiving dinner, I made use of a lot of premade items 🙂
We have football, the Macy’s Day Parade and no one can forget the shopping that starts at midnight and all the black Friday sales. I have never, nor will I ever, take part in that. From what I understand, there is anything BUT a spirit of thanksgiving in the stores during that time. Add to that the fact that I absolutely HATE shopping – yes, me, a girl, lol – and I can guarantee I’ll never be in there.
But I do spend a lot of time, about this time every year, wondering what it should be about. Should we celebrate Thanksgiving from a historical aspect? Should we celebrate it by thinking backward in time? Should we be contemplating and trying to figure out where it all started?
I think, actually, quite the contrary. We are all in this particular place in time for whatever particular reason God has it to be so. We are where we are, with who we are with, and WHATEVER happened to get the whole thing started, in all actuality, doesn’t mean a doggone thing to us in the here and now. That might seem like a bold statement, but I have to say, it doesn’t matter whether the pilgrims all sat down with the Native Americans and had turkey, venison or fish. It doesn’t change the NOW, for you or for me.
Now, if you enjoy thinking back on those times and what it might have been like, and your traditions revolve around that particular type of thing, then I dare not say change a thing. Your traditions are your traditions, and should stay that way. Pass them down, record them, take pictures and video and live like you mean it! Do all those things anyway, because one day, they will be memories you will treasure. Believe me.
I think that Thanksgiving should be a time of reflection and thanksgiving from your own heart in your own situation. Above all, find something to be thankful for in this beautiful season. There’s more than you think! There’s ALWAYS something to be thankful for! This year, celebrate even the things that seem common, because I promise you it isn’t. Every day that passes by, it is but by the grace of God that we make it through the small and the great alike.
No, every day won’t hold something amazing and newsworthy. Not everyday is going to burn into your memory or be talked about by generations to come. But every day is a gift from God, a day in which His mercies are brand new, a day that we are closer to our salvation than ever before.
And if that’s not something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is.