Here we are in November and on the doorstep of “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” and I have to admit I am right in the middle of my annual chameleon thing and am changing into a 7-year old boy again! I simply love this time of year. It starts with my birthday on November 9th when I’m reminded of my Mom. I looked forward to her call on my birthday more than any other I would receive and now that she’s been gone a few years I miss that the most. She instilled in me a real love for this time of year and I remember Christmas at our house, wherever we were in the world, being a magical place. Maybe it was the Sing-A-Long with Mitch Christmas records! In between my birthday and Christmas was Thanksgiving and the thing that sticks out the most to me was it was the one time of the year when we said a prayer before we ate and Dad broke out the best wine glasses! In a family that only went to church three or four times the entire time I was growing up that annual prayer stuck with me because it was special and it certainly must have been important because it was the only time we did it!! After leaving home and starting my own family church became more important, and that prayer has been my responsibility. Carving the turkey, saying the prayer, those are important events that signal a man’s arrival as head of the family, so it makes me a little sad that Thanksgiving these days seems to have become a footnote really, a thing we do in between more important things like Halloween and Christmas. It wasn’t always that way. In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale, the writer who gave us the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” among other things, started a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. She spent 36 years writing articles, and letters to important people of the day. It was President Abraham Lincoln who finally agreed to Sarah’s request and in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, suggested to all Americans they ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. We’ve been celebrating it ever since, though lately it seems to be getting lost, or at least losing its meaning. The commercial aspects of Halloween and Christmas, times when we have our hands stretched out to receive, have become far more powerful than the prayerful aspect of Thanksgiving when our hands should be clasped close, in prayer, grateful that we have so many things to be thankful for. I love Thanksgiving so much I come to work on the radio that morning just to share the day with listeners who are so happy to be cooking and cleaning in anticipation of the family arriving. I love having family gathered at our house for the feast, but mostly for each other. We need decorations and symbols to adorn other holidays. We only need each other and the love that unites us to adorn Thanksgiving. Don’t let Thanksgiving be an interruption to more important things, let it be the important thing. I remember a quote that said something like “Sometimes simply saying thanks is prayer enough.” Happy Thanksgiving Friends.
Thank you, Rick. I also love Thanksgiving and I see it becoming just a foot note in the "Holiday Season". Goodness gracious, stores will be open for shopping. This is the Day we need to sit and reflect on all that is good and all that we have. Maybe think about that gift list and reflect the difference between "need" and "want".
Thanksgiving: A Significant Historical Event
Thank you for your article Rick. Although it is true that some treat Thanksgiving as a mere footnote, it is a signal event historically in the founding of our country. As you know, the pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock primarily, though not exclusively, to establish religious freedom. Their first Thanksgiving, celebrated despite dire circumstances, reflects complete devotion to and dependence upon God. This event should not only be commemorated at Thanksgiving, but more importantly it gives occasion for us as a nation to express our gratitude to almighty God, and His Son Jesus Christ from whom all blessings flow.