I recall one time when I was 10 or 11, my grandmother remarked that Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday; I thought she must be crazy! You don’t get presents for Thanksgiving! Like most American kids, my favorite was Christmas and my runner up was my birthday; give me presents!
That was a very long time ago; I have certainly changed my point of view. Christmas is a wonderful season, and frankly I like the season more than I like the day, as it can be a bit of a theological challenge for me, but the season is fun. Other holidays are fine, too, but there is something about Thanksgiving that strikes a chord in my being.
To me, Thanksgiving is a “clean” holiday; there isn’t any dodgy theology and as far as I can tell there isn’t any pagan compromising to do. It has a clear Christian and historical context that is meaningful to me, and it isn’t a mere commercial festival. That last point is interesting to me, because it is a holiday that actually seems less commercial than in days gone by. Oh sure, your local grocery store will have the usual special sale price on turkey, boxed stuffing and those gross fried onion things, but they have sale prices every week, so I don’t see that as being all that overly commercial. The interesting part for me is that I can remember going into stores, particularly grocery stores 45 years ago that were full of Thanksgiving decorations. There were turkeys and pilgrims and hay and Indian corn and all sorts of things all over the place and hanging from the ceiling… but now?
Hardly ever. Most places are all geared up for Christmas long before Thanksgiving comes around; it’s kind of sad, in a way.
What I really like about Thanksgiving is that we have a special meal; one that most of us don’t have any other time of year, we have the tradition of being close with family and friends, and it all centers around our relationship with God. Of course I know that many n our culture just think of it as a day for over-eating and watching football, but the concept of being thankful to God is always there, even for those who would deny Him.
When I was a little kid, Christmas had a kind of feeling around it. As an adult, that feeling surrounds Thanksgiving.
Well, maybe I’m nuts, maybe it’s just me, but I always look forward to Thanksgiving!