Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. It is hands down my favorite and has been for many years. You want reasons?
1. Thanksgiving is so simple as we focus the entire day on gratitude. I like to think of Thanksgiving Day as one big marathon of conversation devoted to saying thank you. It’s not hard to be filled with gratitude for all the blessings heaped on my life. Be thankful. Say it out loud. Tell God. Tell your people. This is simple, basic stuff.
2. The agenda is straightforward; have a sit-down feast, preferably serve up turkey. The meal planning and grocery shopping is done in a flash because it’s the same as last year. In fact, if you change the menu, expect some grief. Do not try smoking the turkey unless you really know how to do it (I did not and had to microwave the bird another 2 hours - I’m still hearing all about it 32 years later.) Do not deep fry it either (another lesson learned the hard way.) This is not a meal that should be handled with creativity. Cook what you cooked last year and the year before that and the year before that. Bake the bird just like your mother did.
3. Since Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, this holiday turns into a 4 day weekend. It’s true that retail is in an uproar over this particular weekend but many offices are closed. School is out. There is time to kick back a bit and get reacquainted with relaxation. Go outside and experience some nature. Resist the pull of retail if you can.
4. Decorating is a breeze for Thanksgiving. Put something Fall-ish in the center of your dining table and call it good. For an all-out splurge, pick up some napkins with the words “Give Thanks” and your decorating is complete. The napkins serve as a reminder as to what the day is all about. Flash them about if the conversation turns to politics.
5. There is no big music thing at Thanksgiving. Our hymnal at church features “Now Thank We All Our God” and “We Gather Together” but that’s about it. I have never had a harp gig or any kind of gig focused on Thanksgiving and I never will. This is a musicians’ holiday. Play Pandora.
6. Enjoy the full moon. This holiday is scheduled when the moon is so big and bright it will make you gasp in wonder! Have you experienced the moon on this day? It shines like a spotlight! It is bright! Brighter than headlights! Brighter than anything! As that spotlight moon makes its way around the house and shines into our bedroom window, it is so bright it wakes me up. My reaction (90% of the time) is worship and awe and praise and I’m again in thanksgiving mode.... even in the middle of the night.. This reminder of God’s Presence is so strong...
Perhaps I should celebrate Thanksgiving every full moon. Perhaps we all should. A sense of gratitude and thanks would put this life in correct perspective.
Ok, I’ll say it. Perhaps every day should be Thanksgiving Day, minus the turkey.
So, gather up those loved ones on Thanksgiving Day if you can. Roast up a turkey the old-fashioned way. Keep it simple. Celebrate. Have a marathon conversation with the Spotlight-Moon-Maker Who longs to make His Presence known. Be grateful. Be blessed.