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Thanksgiving Isn't Just One Day

Friday, November 23, 2018

I know that in the USA we currently celebrate Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November. Abraham Lincoln declared it to be so after the Civil War in 1863. This was to unify the nation after the Civil War. Previously, many countries had periodic days of Thanksgiving and fasting. The USA had developed a tradition of Thanksgiving in November but not a set day until 1863. As a country, we no longer have days of fasting, although many people practice fasting on their own for a variety of reasons.

This made me stop and think about the whole idea of Thanksgiving. It appears that stores go from Halloween directly to Christmas. For years, I've asked, "But what about Thanksgiving?"
I'm not sure why, but we seem to skim over Thanksgiving as if it is just a food occasion rather than something spiritual and personal. It can be a time for families to get together and break bread, a time for introspection or it can be a time for loneliness and isolation. It is whatever we make of it. I think what bothers me is that many people think of being thankful either just on Thanksgiving and/or when they are in the midst of a traumatic event.

What would happen if we were to take time to be thankful more often? Like...perhaps on a daily basis? Instead of putting the focus of our daily lives on all that goes wrong, how the scale isn't moving as much as we'd like, what we can't eat that we'd like to eat and how stressed we are....maybe we should stop and look at all of the blessings we already have in our lives.

I'm finding that by changing my perspective, in my own life, I feel like a much happier person. I don't need to cook a turkey one day of the year to be thankful. I love doing it, please don't misunderstand. I love the gathering of family and friends; the companionship and traditions. I love that it is a national holiday. I just don't want to fall into the trap of letting a hectic everyday life take precedence over what is really important to me.

In this age of commercialism and technology, it is so easy to lose sight of what is important. Having the latest technology and some nice "stuff" is great but being thankful for what we already have is priceless. It is the feeling of thankfulness that will get us through those difficult times in our lives, not having a sports car, a big house and an over abundance of material goods. The old adages "you can't buy happiness" and "you can't take it with you" are popular because they contain an element of truth. Really, my main goal in life is to be a happy, healthy person. It all starts by being grateful for all of the gifts we've already been given.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The brain science really supports this approach -- we are happier when we practice that "attitude of gratitude" continuously.

    (Gotta say: the Black Friday thing has seeped north into Canada, even though we celebrate Thanksgiving in October -- and seems now to pre-empt Thanksgiving itself with wild consumerist excess immediately thereafter . . . )
    18 days ago
    Thanks for your wisdom!
    19 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
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    19 days ago
    I share your sentiments about Thanksgiving and how it often seems to get skipped over once Halloween is done and right onto Christmas! Even before we celebrated Thanksgiving I was hearing Christmas jingles... emoticon Of course trying to get everyone into the shopping frenzy that goes on during Black Friday! ..:: There are so many things to be thankful for and yes give thanks on a daily basis, not just on the traditional holiday. This is certainly a beautiful message that needed to be said, so thank you.
    20 days ago
    YES YES YES! For sure I believe many have forgotten the purpose of Thanksgiving. And absolutely, that attitude of gratitude shouldn't just be limited to one day/year. It should be a daily, conscious process of being grateful.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog!
    20 days ago
  • GABY1948
    This is an amazing blog, Cindy! I think MOST have actually forgotten WHAT and HOW to be thankful!

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    20 days ago
    Thank you for your blog. It's something that should be done on a daily basis.
    20 days ago
  • CLO333
    Thank you for sharing. You are so correct. In my strive to be a positive, grateful person, I begin and end my day with gratitude. It's a never ending work in progress. Your blog is a beautiful reminder.💝
    20 days ago
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