It was in the middle of the heat of August when I saw the first Halloween display. And right after Labor Day the stores were overfilled with Halloween candy, costumes and ghoulish delights. And come November 1st, after all the Halloween accoutrements were moved to the 75% off tables, the shelves were filled with Christmas joy.
But what happened to Thanksgiving? Did I miss that display? Where did the pilgrim and Indian decorations go? Where were the beautiful dried corns, cornucopias and “Give Thanks” platters and napkins? Even in the greeting card section I had to round the isles several times to find a small and sad little collection of cards – everything was pointing to Christmas.
Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is wonderful and I love this holiday, but I feel that Thanksgiving is getting the shaft, the short end of the stick, and the boot. But I guess in a country that seems less reflective on good and God-honoring things, it makes sense that Thanksgiving is bypassed quickly with a turkey and some sports so that we can get on with the Santa-type Christmas chaos, Black Friday, and spending beyond our budgets.
But back to Thanksgiving. It is a time of community and a specific time each year we set aside to be thankful. 220 years ago, a US President did just that. I can’t even imagine a proclamation going into effect like this today in our over-protective and politically correct nation we live in. But it was different in George Washington’s day when he signed a proclamation making the last Thursday of November to be about acknowledging God. Being thankful. Here are some recaps of what that proclamation said, you can click here to see the full document:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;…..to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God…And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations…to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. –Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd day of October, A.D. 1789, G.Washington
So enjoy your Thanksgiving, being thankful for the bird that is taking too long to roast, the slightly irritated grocery store clerk that is working during the festivities so you could get another bag of ice and pound of butter, the relative that keeps bringing that unhealthy gooey green-bean casserole, the family member that keeps snagging the turkey leg for themselves, the kids that won’t be quiet, the toilet that keeps getting backed-up and the TV noise from too much sports. Be thankful for the family that you could be with, be thankful for the family and friends you couldn’t be with, be thankful that we have homes – love – and can openly be thankful to God for the blessings He gives us. Take time to slow down and be thankful. I know I need to do this desperately.
Much love from my heart and home to yours… and seriously, if you don’t have a place to be this Thanksgiving – please come to our house… we are having about 30 over and a couple more would be wonderful. You think I’m kidding, but I’m serious…email me.
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