November 24, we in America celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We forget that this is a holiday primarily celebrated in North America. (Canada celebrates in October, US in November.) The practice of coming together to celebrate the year's harvest based in European and Native American agricultural tradition. It certainly is appropriate for family and friends to come together to celebrate the end of a productive growing season. Through the years families in the US have developed traditions that make Thanksgiving a wondrous holiday including turkey, pumpkin pie and all sorts of other elegant trimmings. The larger the gathering and the more affluent the family, the more elaborate the festivities with everyone striving to put forth the finest fruits of their labors.
For many this year has not been particularly bountiful. Not being farmers most of us rely on what we can buy rather than what we grow with our own hands. With jobs at a premium, many will probably do without many of the traditional goodies they may have enjoyed in the past. Fortunately turkeys can still be bought for around 60 cents a pound this year and a large bird can be used to create a number of dinners feeding a family for a week or more after the Thanksgiving spread is cleared.
My wishes for you and your family this Thanksgiving are far and beyond the joy I wish for you this day. I wish for you and your loved ones the conviction that you are very, very special. Give each other an extra hug and kiss this year. I also wish that you will include in your prayers of thanksgiving all those other people who contributed to your celebrations, your neighbors and fellow Americans across the country… the farmers who grew those cucumbers and corn and potatoes and cranberries and pecans and other fine foods you enjoy today….the truckers who transported these to market …the grocers and cashiers and baggers who handled your purchases…the President who struggles to guide us through our current economic crisis in spite of unbelievable opposition . It's the people of this great nation who work together that deserve our thanks.
And that means you, too.
I thank you for all you are and all you do. I thank you for reading this blog. I thank you for making your little corner of this country just a bit better… for the work you do, for your efforts to bring joy to those around you and for your struggles to make sense of the challenges this country faces right now..
This Thanksgiving I am reminded that one day of filling our bellies with all kinds of goodies isn't enough. One day of saying "Thanks" isn't sufficient. My prayer is that we all can carry with us a deep abiding attitude of gratitude into the coming year…every day and every hour remembering that we really do have a lot to be thankful for. It may not be all we would like. We may be hurting and we may be doing without some of the luxuries we've become accustomed to. Even so, like those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving we have lived through another year and our lives are filled with abundance we just need open our eyes and see that which is really most important in our lives. . .