Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas. Love the music, love the baking, love the special charge in the air. And I especially love spending the month focusing on the Christ Child.
But not yet.
When the leaves are still crunchy on the ground, when the air is crisp but (hopefully) not frigid, it’s time to gather family around and give thanks for our very blessed lives.
Sure, I’d like a bit more money to accomplish things around the house. But we have a house. We have heat and running water and electricity. We have food to eat, coats on our backs and shoes on our feet. We have beautiful music and plenty of books. We have phones to call far away loved ones and cars to take us to ones close by. We have healthy bodies and active minds, and opportunities to put them to work. We have trees and grass and flowers in the spring. We have beloved children who have grown into awesome adults. And we have Christ’s Gospel in the center of our lives.
Thanksgiving is more than just the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It’s a time to give thanks for all these blessings – enough that they could take the entire day to count.
We traditionally celebrate with a feast, so yes, it’s time for smooth pumpkin pies and crunchy Waldorf salad. For roasted turkey and smooth homemade gravy. For cranking potatoes through the ricer for the creamiest mash you’ve ever eaten. But it’s also time to give thanks for the peanut butter sandwiches and chicken casserole we have on other days.
Instead of shopping, we’ll show our gratitude for family with time for football and board games, Frisbee outside and stories inside. We’ll enjoy every minute of young men wrestling, of tripping over bedding, of many hands cooking, of talks both serious and silly.
And on Friday or Saturday, when Thanksgiving has been fully appreciated, we’ll bring out the Christmas music.
What does your Thanksgiving holiday look like this year? What are you thankful for this season?