Tomorrow is the celebration of Thanksgiving. It’s a time for us to eat, reflect and celebrate all the blessings we’ve experienced in the past year. It’s not about the trappings and trimmings like Christmas and who can outdo each other with the best gift. No, it’s a time for simple things; food, family and football for many, and a time for all, religious or not to take time to count our blessings and the things we’re thankful for in the past year. It’s almost an accounting before we get to the new year and set new resolutions, a time of reflection over the next month and planning on what we’ll do different or better in the next year.
But Thanksgiving is really a time for us to be present, to not worry about what tomorrow will bring or the ways we’ve failed in the past, but a chance to just be and be thankful for being alive. A time for us to set aside our differences and challenges and laugh and cry over the events of the past year; to remember those we’ve lost and celebrate those we’ve found.
Thanksgiving is really the first gift of the holiday season. A gift of being present, of letting go of the complications, and re-unwrapping all the gifts we were given over the past year all at once. It’s a chance to get in the mindset of the upcoming season of love, joy and giving and a reminder that that’s what this season is really all about.
So tomorrow I hope that you’ll take some time out of the bustle, food preparation and thoughts of gifts to make peace with the past year and anticipate the month of celebration ahead.
“Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life… a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year – and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.” Ray Stannard Baker