Excuse Me…but… What About Thanksgiving?

thanksgiving

Straight from Halloween to Christmas…in a single bound! I’m sure some stores had Halloween and Christmas merchandise out at the same time. Yesterday in a store there was a rack of Thanksgiving items already on 50% clearance. On November 8th? And I’m hearing Christmas songs already? Thanksgiving is out of fashion, left behind as a relic of the past. Why is Thanksgiving off the calendar in our culture?

  • No free candy from strangers
  • There’s no reason to put on a costume. Pilgrims and Indians are now politically incorrect and unacceptable costume choices. No one wants to dress up as a turkey except the same guy who wears a lampshade on his head at parties (parties to which he is no longer invited).
  • Nobody gives presents on Thanksgiving, so why get so excited. No kid ever got a Wii for Thanksgiving.
  • There are no Thanksgiving songs … unless you know the theme to Mouse on the Mayflower.
  • Thanksgiving means turkey. For days. And creative moms trying to fix it in new ways. ick.
  • Thanksgiving is so close to Christmas, and it just seems easier to go right into the jolly old elf’s season.
  • Thanksgiving doesn’t have cute lawn ornaments on the courthouse lawn for us to picket, be offended by, and demand they be removed.

Then again, perhaps our culture isn’t quite so shallow. Maybe those are just silly ideas with no basis in reality. Perhaps there are really good reasons to skip Thanksgiving and get right to Christmas.

  • Because Thanksgiving is about family, and the concept of family has suffered much in our generation.
  • Because Thanksgiving is about caring for others and reaching out, and people do not have much time for that any more.
  • Because Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for our country, and patriotism is losing it’s place in our time.
  • Because Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Recognizing that there is One to Whom we ought to give thanks might offend someone.

It is possible that Thanksgiving is more needed than Christmas. I know Christmas has an amazing story about Jesus attached to it. We should celebrate that story all the time! Since you can’t display a nativity scene without someone fainting at the great offense, Jesus has been disappearing from Christmas for a long time. Christmas has become the holiday where we spend enormous amounts of money (whether we have it or not) to give children piles of gifts which they do not need and for which they have no room. No, I’m not a Scrooge, far from it.

But I think our land needs a good dose of Thanksgiving. I would hate for it to simply disappear somewhere between a pile of leftover Michael Jackson rubber masks and a new shelf of plastic candy canes. It deserves better. My friend Christina is using FaceBook this month to mention something every day for which she is thankful. I love that!  My friend Mike is helping with a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless. What can we do to see that Thanksgiving once again gains the prominence it deserves? Post your ideas in the comments.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.  Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”  1 Chronicles 16:34-36

Thanks for reading,

John

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