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Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving 2014


As we soon head into November, preparing for a national holiday, Thanksgiving, I slipped into Grinch mode when I picked up the current Real Simple, a favorite magazine. They changed the name from Thanksgiving to Friendsgiving. I closed it, and gave it away.

I know, I know the day is often renamed Turkey –day or shortened to T-day, and I get that the fourth Thursday in November has become more about serving good food and having good times with friends. Thanksgiving kicks off the combo celebration, the Christmas holidays – a time whose origins are becoming as unfamiliar as Thanksgiving is accurate reflection of our nation’s values. (Secularism on the Rise) But changing the name, from Thanks- to Friends – bugged me.  

Maybe because the pictures of the table spread, dishes and food made me examine my gratitude, and how lavish my thanksgiving is for so much I take for granted.

Some churches believe they are under no obligation to observe what truly is a secular holiday, although couched in religious sounding jargon: a day to offer "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" (A. Lincoln)

Others set the Wednesday evening before as a time of praise and fellowship, and thanksgiving to God. Growing up, our family went to church the Wednesday before Thanksgiving –because it was expected. Thirty-five years ago, we went to church the night before – because we wanted to – and we did so for decades, until we stopped, for a variety of reasons – all of which made sense at the time. 

Which is crazy.

I’ve reached the age and stage of life where getting out of bed and breathing is a gift! 

Do not take anything for granted — not one smile or one person or one rainbow or one breath, or one night in your cozy bed. ~Terri Guillmets

When unexpected circumstances bewilder me and often rob me of joy, and I feel boxed in by my age and stage. Being thankful steadies me: If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good

Thankfulness is an essential of ours that makes an older person a pleasure to be around, or a pain. The mother of a friend knew her short-term memory was gone, and cheerfully acknowledged her deficit. And inevitably followed an expression of thankfulness for her son, whom she said was better to her than twelve daughters. Her conversation was unfailingly loving, if repetitive.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

So, I guess I better stop grinching, and be grateful for the magazine that made me think about my own attitude.

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, — a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

~George Herbert