Memories and traditions handed down through generations seem to come to life at Thanksgiving. Whether it’s the fluttering of red, orange, and brown leaves; the chill in the air; Thanksgiving cooking shows; Grandma’s recipes; frosted windows; and pumpkin spice everything!
In years past, we’d sit around the Thanksgiving table and share stories and experiences. Seems Christmas shopping has upstaged Thanksgiving. Stores open for sale prices only applied during specific hours on Thanksgiving Day. No time for parades. The famous once-a-year meal must come between football games and store hours.
Maybe it’s just me, but three words come to mind. STOP THE MADNESS!
To slow down this special, uniquely American holiday, I’m serving up my contribution:
To: “To us a son is given” (Is. 9:6). Our Heavenly Father set the example and offered insightful reminders that it’s “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:30). No wonder we feel such joy in giving! This year, maybe that includes giving up “door buster” deals on Thanksgiving Day to sit with Grandma or Grandpa and listen to another story.
Happy: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help” (Psm. 146:5). Sometimes we forget our help comes from the Lord. And when we remember and praise Him for all He’s done, happiness returns.
Attitude: When you’ve bypassed the Thanksgiving Day sales to linger at the table with family and friends, enjoy an attitude of gratitude. You’ll received far more than any discounted item.
Nice: A while back, I wrote a piece that included the line: Think twice, speak nice. Until Thanksgiving Day comes around again, think about the words blistering the tip of your tongue. Rethink them. When you’ve sweetened them, then release them.
Kindness: Warm-hearted, genuine concern for others comes from a joy-filled heart. Practicing acts of kindness changes the world, because each act changes you.
Fun: As the saying goes, all work and no play makes your name inserted here a dull person. There are countless reasons to laugh, and some of those set-aside board games on Thanksgiving Day may be one of them. Here’s a reminder from a very wise man: “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Prov.17:22). This is a great day to take your medicine!
Udone: When was the last time something took your breath away? Whether it’s the realization of God’s great love for you, the boundless energy of a puppy, or a work of art, drink in that moment of wonder. It’s healthy to cry tears of joy!
Let: Let it go! Baggage is for road trips, cruises, and airplanes. Period.
Light: “It is with a heavy heart” precedes announcements we’d rather not say, read, or hear. Yet, how often do we go through our day with the feeling of a heavy heart? Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). When we share each other’s burdens, it lightens our load.
Thankful only has one “l,” but I think it deserves two. Thankfull. For Thanksgiving Day. Take a few minutes to recognize this American holiday, and be thankfull for all the Lord has done.
Author of A Snowflake’s Adventure