Thankful Giving

Thankful Giving

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Three weeks ago, how many of us saw the Halloween decorations flying off the shelves, only to be replaced by Christmas merchandise in stores? It’s like they forgot Thanksgiving, right? What are you doing this year for Thanksgiving?

Giving thanks and being thankful—that’s what our special day is dedicated to each year. I’m especially thankful for my family, those present and those gone before me, for infusing a spirit of gratitude for every gift of love and time shared with people I love in my life. I’m grateful to have the means to start a new social platform, give to my favorite charities, and support our community wherever the support is needed.

The best gift of all to give this holiday season is–your time. It’s priceless, cherished, and irreplaceable. For many, this will be their first Thanksgiving holiday without a loved one in their lives. Who do you know who’d like to be included at your table but might be too shy to say, or tell you they’re alone, without plans? Consider giving them your time and love this year.

Thanksgiving as a national holiday has a storied history. In 1789 George Washington introduced the event as a national holiday. It was not until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln set the final Thursday in November. Fast forward to 1989 President George H.W. Bush, when granted the first official pardon to a turkey, a tradition that continues today, including this year.

Humorously, it’s time for us to grant a few turkeys we know a pardon or two as well, right? It is a spirit of thankfulness by which we can find reasons to change our hearts and minds to look at people who may have not impacted us the way we would have hoped and to consider that we might be at fault ourselves. When we look at others as we want to be seen, then there’s a softness in our hearts that can overcome us, no doubt encouraged by infinite commercials of “home for the holidays.”

On television, we’re seeing commercials that pit “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” against the stores who feature “We are allowing our families to be with their loved ones at Thanksgiving this year and so we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving,” taking a stand. Does your family do the campout in front of stores to be first in line, or are you going online to do your shopping at your leisure? The approach to “Black Friday” is often a family tradition, too.

Giving thanks in the United States is celebrated as a meal, enjoyed together or bringing covered dishes to another family home, but really, isn’t it celebrated first in our hearts?

Let’s all stop and take a deep breath right now—freeze time for just three minutes. What are you thankful for right now? Is it your ability to be enjoying coffee and reading your paper before you leave the house for a job you love? Is it because you have time to enjoy the people in your life, that you are thankful? Have you retired from a lifetime job and now can do whatever you want every day?

Holiday times are also some of the most challenging for many of us. Are you grieving the loss of one of your closest loved ones and wonder how you will endure Thanksgiving this year? Or, have you determined to be a part of a gathering of people who volunteer to serve or deliver Thanksgiving meals to those whose eyes will light up with joy when they see your smiling face?

Thanksgiving is often a make-or-break holiday for people on a journey of recovering from grief. “It’s our first Thanksgiving without” is a sentence many of us must say to explain an empty chair at a table this year.

Every day, not just this day or this week, we journey together on the path toward remembering, cherishing, healing, and sharing time with those who need us. From our family to yours, we keep you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts and we are thankful for each of you.

May blessings be yours this Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

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