Please take time today to thank the Lord for the many blessings He has provided. Thank your family for all that they’ve done for you, and thank your friends for their friendship. Take time to reminisce over particularly good times in your life. Enjoy the people around you, or fondly remember those who are no longer around. If you have the ability, do something nice for someone else; you’ll make an even better memory for next Thanksgiving.
Finally, resist the urge to catalog failures and shortcomings, and by all means - leave politics in the dumpster inferno where it currently resides. Who wants a dumpster fire at the dinner table, anyway?
I wish each of you a happy, relaxing, and joyous Thanksgiving!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving! While I’m sure there will be more about the true meaning of the next major holiday, let’s not forget the original meaning of today - praise to God for His providence, and for friendships formed by people of differing national origins. I have seen suggestions of other things to ponder today, and those aren’t necessarily bad. But, in all of this, let’s keep the intent of the holiday. We have been blessed (in some cases, beyond what is even believable!), but these blessings aren’t about us; they are about the grace of the God Who has chosen to bless us. Were it not for His hand on our lives, everything else we do would be absolutely meaningless.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
- James 1:17(ESV)
Also, remember that the first Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated as a family holiday - it was a celebration among people who had recently met each other. Gratitude and thankfulness are expressions that are common among all races, nationalities, and political persuasions. While it’s probably too late for this year, think about this in years to come when you’re planning your Thanksgiving guest list. Why not use it as a time to get to know new friends better?
Nearly everything Americans have to be thankful for has hurt someone else along the way.
This person clearly has Thanksgiving mixed up. Thanksgiving was (and is) a day to thank God for His providence, provision, and protection. Every one of us is alive and breathing in the freest country on the planet. Every one of us has probably eaten better today than a lot of families eat in a week. Every one of us are in a climate-controlled environment, and will likely sleep on a soft bed (until we get up before the sun to go snag those door-buster specials).
I know some of the things this person was talking about. Some of them were true, some were not, but yes, we as a nation have made some mistakes. Today, though, is not the day for a history lesson. “Oh, you’re happy? Let me see if I can change it.” It’s arrogant, condescending, and completely in bad taste. This guy reminds me of “Debbie Downer” from Saturday Night Live. In fact, there was actually a Debbie Downer skit about Thanksgiving.
My favorite exchange…
Horatio Sanz: Any of you think that the Pilgrims brought a bottle of Pinot Grigio to the first Thanksgiving?
Debbie Downer: I’ll tell you what the Pilgrims did bring - smallpox.
American success does not equal others’ failures. America’s formula for success is available to any nation to try - freedom, with the realization that everything is either directly from God or allowed by God. Not everything in life is enjoyable, or even good - that’s the nature of life. I, for one, am not going to let this “Debbie Downer” ruin my Thanksgiving. In fact, I truly feel sorry for someone for whom this sort of thing is what comes to mind when a holiday rolls around.
Morgan Freeberg over at House of Eratosthenes has tagged me. I guess I’ve now arrived as a blogger! :) Anyway, here are my answers. In keeping with his tradition, the questions will be colored red and green.
1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Mix and match. Oddly-shaped gifts are pretty well suited for gift bags. When wrapping for kids, though, paper is definitely the way to go. It’s a lot more fun to rip paper than just pull a few pieces out of a bag.
2. Real or artificial tree?
I grew up with real trees, and really prefer the look and scent. However, the cost and trouble have won out, and we have an artificial tree. Pulling a pre-lit tree out of the box, putting three pieces together, and plugging it in is a lot easier than getting a real tree. Plus, we know that all our ornaments will fit!
3. When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving weekend, usually Friday.
4. When do you take the tree down?
The weekend after New Year’s Day.
5. Do you like egg nog?
I used to, but the older I get, the more I think it’s way too sweet.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
One year, as an “early” Christmas gift, I got a boom box (think mid-80s). It was a high-quality one - AM/FM radio, dual cassette decks, large speakers. It was stolen out of our car at church one Wednesday night. :(
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
We have a couple of versions, none an actual “scene” that you would put out on a table. We do have one in a snow globe, that you can wind up and hear a song.
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Undergarments. Now, that’s fine, but as a kid, you’re thinking “What?!?!?”
9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail, on December 1st. (However, this year we were traveling, so we got them mailed late. If you’re reading this and haven’t gotten yours yet, hang on - they’re coming!)
10. Favorite Christmas movie?
It’s a Wonderful Life
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
December 26th! Of course, it’s not a constant thing, but we usually wrap up the major shopping by the first week in December. Again, this year has been a little different, as we were on vacation.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My wife makes the best hashbrown and chicken casseroles - they’re my favorite! And, since they’re not a specific holiday food, we can have them year-round. (I put up her recipe for her cheesy sausage hashbrown casserole earlier this year.)
13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
14. Favorite Christmas song?
I’d like to gripe about Christmas songs I can’t stand, but this is a positive question, not a negative one. :) My favorite would probably be “O Holy Night.”