The Meaning of Thanksgiving

by on March 3rd, 2011
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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not a favorite because of all the food, though that is a plus. It’s a favorite because of what it means.

Thanksgiving is a day set apart for us to be thankful for what we have and what we don’t have. As a Christian, I aim my thanks towards God, but even if you have no religious belief, you can still feel gratitude.

I could write a history lesson about the original Thanksgiving, but there are enough of those wandering around the internet and in books. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time on what Thanksgiving is not. I want to focus on what I’m thankful for and a day set aside just for that purpose.

I have a family. Some of them may not be speaking to others, but that can change, because they’re still alive. We haven’t lost anyone this year and I’m grateful, especially as there was a point in time this year when we thought we had.

I have a home. I have a roof over my head and a place inside where it’s warm. It’s made a home by the people who live there. Right now there are just the two of us, but memories of the kids are all around, and that helps make it a home.

I have food. Not only do I have food, I don’t have to leave the dinner table hungry. I have enough food. Having been hungry, that’s a big blessing.

I have my husband. And, he has me. We’ve had some scares over the last few years, but we are both doing well now.

I have a country. Not only do I have a country, I have one that lets me be free. I can worship where I choose or choose not to worship at all. I can say what I think, gather where I wish and write what I choose.

I am protected. Our brave men and women have been engaged in a struggle to protect me, my family and my country. Many have lost their lives or been seriously wounded.

I have a God. The 23rd Psalm is one of my favorite Bible passages, because it describes what God has done for me, and what He has waiting for me. He has said that He loves me. He sent His Son to die in my place so I can be near Him. That is the greatest blessing of all.

No, Thanksgiving is not so much about food and football for me. It’s about all of those things, and every other blessing I’ve been given. The question is, what is Thanksgiving to you?

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