We are halfway through November now and while here in England everyone is already preparing for the Christmas season, at home in Georgia, people are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Plump turkeys are being bought, plane tickets are being purchased, and calls are being placed in anticipation of coming home for the feast that will be served the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favourite holidays. First, it falls near my birthday, and second, it has all the benefits of Christmas (family, fun, food) without the pressure of giving and receiving gifts. Christmas is often a stressful time for families. Many cannot afford to buy a lot of presents for their children, or the recent loss of a loved-one can make the day a hard one. However, in the States, Thanksgiving is usually a happy, carefree time without the financial worries that can often plague Christmas.
Two years ago, my grandmother died the week before Thanksgiving. Her funeral was held the Monday before and we buried her the following day. Two days later, we were able to sit as a family around a table of good food and give thanks for every thing and blessing that we still had. My grandmother’s passing, in a way, made the day that much sweeter. We were able to celebrate her life and legacy while being thankful for each other.
While the holiday may have been started by the pilgrims fleeing religious persecution in Europe, today it is even more. As Christians, we are able to look back on the past year and see the ways that God has specifically blessed us. It is often traditional to go around the table, saying at least one thing that each person is most grateful for. These sweet traditions are nice, but it is important to remember that God deserves our thanksgiving all of the time. I like to think of Thanksgiving as a fun but specific reminder that God has blessed us and we are to give Him thanks always.
This year’s Thanksgiving is going to be a little more unusual for me, but I am sure that it will be no less sweet. I may be without the family I was born into, but I will be with the family that I have chosen. I have planned a wonderful and delicious feast with my Community, and am lucky to get to tell the kids at Hub about the first Thanksgiving.
The Lord has blessed me in more ways than I can ever imagine, and for that I am truly thankful.