Thanksgiving is fast approaching. It’s catching me by surprise this year – again. Is Thanksgiving still relevant? Is it important to set aside a day – one day – each year for the task of giving thanks for all that we have been given?
I say, yes! Each of us, no matter how wealthy or impoverished, has much to be thankful for. Maybe it is that we woke up on the right side of the grass today, as we like to say in my family. Maybe it is that the leaves are indescribably beautiful as they change. Maybe it is that no one in our family has had a trip to the E.R. in the past week, the past month, the past year (well, okay, the past month then). Maybe it is that my parents are still alive and in reasonably good health. Maybe it is that our country is not in a civil war at the moment. Maybe it is that there was food for breakfast this morning. Maybe it’s that I can get myself dressed each day without assistance. See, there is so very much to be thankful for.
I know of someone who lost his sense of taste and smell due to a horrific accident. An affirmed “foodie,” he is one of the most grateful people I know. He may have lost some of his senses, but he is alive!
I would suggest that Thanksgiving should not be relegated to only one day a year. I think that thankfulness should be an ingrained habit. A couple of years ago we implemented a borrowed strategy in our family that, I think, has helped us to feel more grateful every day. After saying the grace at dinner, as we help ourselves to an abundance of food to eat (thank you, God), we each say something that we are grateful for in our lives. Sometimes it’s corny. My kids like to say they are thankful for cake (teenagers!). But when they aren’t being silly, sometimes they come up with really profound and moving things for which they are thankful. Even when they aren’t profound, our thanks-giving remind us that we have so very much to be thankful for. Every. Day. That’s a habit I can really get behind.
So while Thanksgiving Day approaches with all of the standard hubbub and recipes and last-minute changes of plans, along with the inevitable thoughts of the Christmas rush to follow, I take a moment to really appreciate all that I have to be thankful for. Every. Day.