Weekly Feature

2017-11-29 / Lifestyles


Thanksgiving a time to remember blessings
Rector St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

This is the season of Thanksgiving. In recent years, Thanksgiving has become slightly overshadowed. Halloween has become a much bigger holiday, and Christmas decorations seem to spring out of the earth the day after Halloween.

I can understand why Thanksgiving gets overlooked.

Halloween is a really fun holiday with costumes, parties and candy. It is also a time that we think about what we want to be. We can pretend to be something that we want to be. We can be superheroes or ghosts or someone famous, all without having to do anything to make it happen.

Christmas is also a wonderful holiday. It brings back childhood memories, which for a lot of us are warm and nostalgic. It combines a focus on family with unalloyed joy. Even if our own families aren’t places of unalloyed joy, we can believe, just for a moment, that they could be. Plus, there is Santa. Most of us secretly, or not so secretly, like the idea that there is someone paying attention to us all the time, someone who will bring us a surprise gift picked out especially for us.

Thanksgiving, by contrast, is quieter and less fun. Firstly, we have lost the connection between the harvest and our survival through the winter. There will be oranges and strawberries at Wegmans in January and February, and we will eat basically the same in midwinter as we do in midsummer. But deeper than that, we all know that we should be thankful for all that we have, but we are human beings, which means that we tend to take what we have for granted and really only miss it when it is no longer there.

It is hard to feel thankful when we also feel stressed, and there never seems to be quite enough time to get everything done, enough money for everything we need and certainly not enough for everything we want.

It is easy to lose exactly how much we have to be thankful for. That is exactly why it is important to remember.

I suggest that we all try to find a few minutes in the next few days to stop and look around to remember the people who are in our lives. We can think about the home that we live in, think about the clothes that we have, about the time we have to do things that make us happy and about the fact that we can have strawberries in February. We can think about all of that and more and to say “thank you.”

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