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.