Thanksgiving

It seems a shame that we have only one day out of 365 to give thanks. For me, every day is a Thanksgiving Day. We take so much of what we have in life for granted; the simple act of flipping a switch gives us light, or heat, or air conditioning. Our water is drinkable, our air is breathable. We have such luxuries as toilet paper and indoor plumbing. We have the freedom to work, to play, to marry or not, to move to another place, to buy or rent a home. We have food on our table and running water. There is so much to be thankful for.

For many people, Thanksgiving Day is merely the beginning of the big shopping season leading up to Christmas and New Year’s. Some have been camped out, in tents, since as early as Monday, to get some perceived bargain. When did Thanksgiving Day change from being a day to be with family and giving thanks? Retailers make a good deal of their profit between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is in their best interest to start as early as possible. They weren’t satisfied opening in the early morning hours of the day after; they weren’t satisfied opening at midnight; now they’re opening on Thanksgiving Day to chase the almighty dollar.

I have seen postings on Facebook saying that soldiers don’t get Thanksgiving off so why are these retail sales people complaining about their holiday being ruined. Which entirely misses the point. When you sign up for certain jobs, you know you will be working nights, weekends, holidays, and long 24-hour days in some cases. It’s one thing to know that going in to a job; and another to have this thrust upon you at the last minute.

So let’s focus on giving thanks for what we have instead of worrying about the bargains we might get. And are they really bargains worth giving up your family for?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/elevated/68119962/”>Elevated</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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Giving Thanks Part 2

Thanksgiving is over, but that doesn’t mean we can stop giving thanks. There is so much to be thankful for, even if you can’t see it right now.

I can remember one of the darkest periods in my life: I had moved to a new place by myself and was recently divorced. For a period of about 2 months, I felt totally alone, depressed, had nobody to discuss things with. I became withdrawn, didn’t go out except to walk the dog and shop for groceries. Gradually, I began to notice my surroundings and began to appreciate where I was. I began a gratitude journal and resolved I would find at least 3 things every day to be thankful for. At first, it was so difficult to find even one. But with practice, I found much more than 3 things every day; some days I had a hard time picking only 3. And so on to today.

I still have so much to be thankful for; even things that seem negative at the time. Yes, there are days where it is difficult to find one thing to be grateful for, but when I persist, the grace begins to pour.