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Thanksgiving: The forgotten holiday

Halloween is the eldest child, bribing others to get attention and spooking little kids. The youngest child, Christmas, is the star of the show. Everything is handed to Christmas on a silver and gold platter. Christmas gets the songs, the presents, the lights and the American consumer’s attention.

But what about the lone, forgotten middle child: Thanksgiving? There are no popular songs for Thanksgiving. No, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Turkey.” There is no hype, no pizazz for little Thanksgiving, and no child is counting down the days to cut open a turkey, or to give thanks.

According to “The Guardian,” Thanksgiving is the seventh most popular holiday in America. Thirteen million cards are sent out annually for the Thanksgiving holiday, generally to announce a person will not be attending Thanksgiving dinner. In comparison, 1.6 billion Christmas cards are sent out for the holiday. Mother’s Day delivers 141 million through the USPS.

How strange the first Thanksgiving must seem now. It was a feast the Plymouth Pilgrims prepared to thank the Wampanoag Indians for teaching them how to cultivate the land. It was a day of putting cultural differences aside and giving thanks to God for food, health, family and his provision. Now, it’s nothing special.

Instead of being a holiday of remembrance and gratitude, this sacred holiday has become synonymous with overeating, football and family quarrels.

It is important not only to remember Thanksgiving, but also to remember why people still celebrate it. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Some people do a countdown to Thanksgiving by posting on Facebook about something they are thankful for. Another creative idea from is the ABC’s of Gratitude. This is where each person goes around the Thanksgiving table and takes turns contributing a word for each letter until everyone is fully grateful, from A to Z.

These practices can help switch America’s focus from a “getting” mentality to a “giving” mentality. You may not have everything you desire right now, but remember you have more than what some people dream of.

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