November has shown off this year. She held onto the glorious days of “Indian Summer’ as tenaciously as a mother protects her newborn child. Typically, our Novembers are numbered with more gray skies than blue. And while we have had a few gray days, those brilliant blue skies have almost convinced us that winter is not ahead. Even now, smack dab in the middle of November, our trees are still remarkably colorful and the grass as green as springtime. Cold weather will appear as suddenly (and as welcome) as an intruder stealing into our home at midnight.
I dislike the cold. I really, really dislike the cold. But for now I am basking in the glory of this brisk and beautiful weather. It is perfect backdrop as I contemplate the weeks ahead the remainder of this year. And first on the list is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It has less of the fanfare and commercialization than other holidays. In fact in the marketing world, it’s only purpose seems to be as a precursor to Black Friday. At times I get frustrated that there isn’t more promotion around Thanksgiving, but that may be the one thing that allows this holiday to maintain its purity. Apparently, Thanksgiving isn’t commercially profitable. Perhaps turkeys, cranberries and pumpkin don’t have huge profit margins.
I love Thanksgiving. No parties to plan, no gifts to buy, no specific decorations required, no Thanksgiving pajamas or outfits to purchase, no annual Thanksgiving photo sessions, no last minute shopping for an unexpected guest – because there is always plenty. If Thanksgiving’s purpose is to give thanks, its rally cry is, “abundance!” There is more than enough, always enough to share and then share some more.
Our Thanksgiving traditions are simple. The entire family gathers together at our home and we feast. As our family grows, so does the menu because (as I learned from my mother) everyone needs to have their favorite dish. And in this family, it’s rare that any two people share the same favorite food! All the better. Because another tradition; no one eats alone. If any family member knows of someone that doesn’t have family to share Thanksgiving, they better bring them to our home! I am thankful God gave us this home and out of his mercy and goodness we love to share it with others. And our last tradition; as we offer our prayer of Thanksgiving, we stand and hold hands, circling the dining room, the kitchen and sometimes looping into the foyer and hallway. It just depends on the crowd. But the more people, the more my heart fills with gratitude and love. There’s not much that brings me more contentment than seeing my family, my friends, and maybe some new friends I just met – sitting together feasting and surrounded with God’s abundant love.
Cherish Thanksgiving. Keep it in your heart and not just on your calendar. Forget about shopping and pre-sales, credit cards and lay-away plans. Forget about calories, carbs, and unflattering photos of you with food in your mouth. Embrace the celebration of more than enough. Enough would be plenty, but God has given us “more than we could ask or imagine.” Just look around, you’ll see it. You may not have everything you want, but likely you do have everything you need.