Category: Thanksgiving

A Happy Thanksgiving Day To You, Too

Here it is. It’s another year and another Thanksgiving Day. A lot of people take holidays like this for granted, talking in terms like, “turkey day”, “t-day”, and just “the holidays”. This time of year, and the idea of a Thanksgiving is much deeper than that.

Thanksgiving has its beginnings so long ago that nobody knows just where it came from. For me it is a Biblical thing. For others it is just an ancient fall celebration for a bountiful harvest, and the promise of being able to survive the ensuing winter. Both viewpoints are closely intertwined.

The whole point is to express thanks for our bounty. To whom, or what, is this thanks to be directed? Logic and history tells us that the tradition began and continues as an expression of thanks to God, or for pagans, to whatever god they nominate. It also means that there have been times when harvests have not been bountiful, and the prospect of starvation was a very real thing. This is also a present day concern for many.

In addition to material blessings there is a lot more for which to be thankful. Health is the really big one. Without one’s health, life can be difficult, and for some, painful everyday. We are also thankful for the closeness and love of the people in our lives.

Thanksgiving goes much further than just saying thanks. It is also a time to help people who are not in a position to partake of the bounty. We have a responsibility to feed the poor, and to care for those who cannot take care of themselves.

I thank God for my family, my wonderful wife, my beautiful children, and my warm home.  Even though we lost our son eleven years ago, we are thankful for the twenty-one years we had with that wonderful person.

Today, Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for those things and people you have. God has given us so much, and has taken away the horror of impending starvation, punishment, and sorrow that other people around the world have to endure. It is our responsibility to share our blessings.

Thanksgiving

In my house I am privileged to be the grocery shopper. I have apparently behaved myself, and have been rewarded with this exciting social activity.

Grocery shopping is a very interesting thing. You can see people at their best, and at their worst. You can see if they are thrifty, or extravagant in their tastes. Some people are in a terrible hurry, and some of us consider shopping a leisure activity. Some people are friendly, and some are not.

If you seek diversity in people, a grocery store is one place guaranteed to produce the desired result.

Yesterday, at the grocery store I kept passing the same woman while I shopped. She seemed to be taking the opposite route route through the store. She was going up and down the aisles, and I was going down and up. This meant that we met each other at least half-a-dozen times.

Now, here in the South, we are courteous, polite, and sometimes a bit flirty. We always acknowledge the presence of another person, especially one of the opposite sex. It is not that grocery shopping is a sexual pursuit, but some swear on the abundance of opportunities on the produce aisle, or in the ice cream section. You can probably meet a common sense person on the oatmeal aisle.

I know one guy who met his future wife at a Walmart prescription counter. This may not have been a good place for amorous encounters.  She had more diseases than a hospital, and no health insurance.

But, I digress…

At any rate, I kept meeting the same woman on the grocery aisles, and at first, we just smiled in acknowledgement of each other. The rest of the time nobody made a big deal of the meetings. When we seemed to be heading for the same grocery line it seemed appropriate to say something.

“It looks like you are preparing for a crowd at Thanksgiving”, I said. She replied that she would be preparing dinner for about sixteen people. The conversation was short, polite, and was not inappropriate. She was just another harried shopper trying to get ready for the big family event. I am sorry to disappoint if you were expecting something lascivious.

Our original Thanksgiving pioneers did not have grocery stores, and they probably had very few smiles. You see, pioneering can be a really hard, and hungry job. If you land on a strange shore and cannot find fertile land, plentiful game, and adequate water supplies in quick order, you are screwed. You stand a good chance of starving, as many colonizing pioneers did.

Remember the stories of the settlers at Jamestown and Roanoke, Virginia. Starvation, disease, troubles with the native Indian tribes were big problems. They had to put up with each other, too.

The Roanoke colony did not survive, and Jamestown was touch and go for several years. The Massachusetts Bay colony was fortunate in its survival, too.

Colonial success was not guaranteed.

We have our intractable problems, today, but they do not go to our very basic physical existence. Our problems are political, economic, spiritual, and personal. They are important, but one reason for Thanksgiving is to keep all this stuff in perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving, people. My advice is to spend the day enjoying life, and to devote some time for prayer.