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 -- and is an accurate reflection of
our nation’s values. (Secularism
on the Rise) But changing the name, from Thanks- to Friends –
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 with an expression of thankfulness for her son, whom she said
was better to her than twelve daughters. Her conversation was unfailingly loving,
I would maintain that thanks are
the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
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.