Feasting and Football are NOT key ingredients

I have my curmudgeon hat on! So here goes…

Another pile of advertising circulars arrived in the mail yesterday and today. You can tell we are quickly coming up to the beginning of the shopping season. We are almost at that Fall Feast whose name has little to do with the way in which we spend the day. Yes, I am talking about Thanksgiving. The day which had its origins in white settlers joining the native peoples in a harvest dinner to give thanks for surviving the year, for the harvest and for the generosity of the natives who helped them adapt to this strange new land.

The feast they laid out would look paltry and poor compared to the groaning tables of food that are the modern equivalent. And all too many 21st century homes will not have a word of gratitude as part of the festivities this year. We have so much even in a down year and yet seem to be grateful for so little.

In thinking about it I realized that many of the most grateful people I have ever met were people who did not have very much. It is a puzzlement. We would think that the more we had the more grateful we would be. But that is not the case. The more we have the more work it requires to be grateful. We have to work hard to make sure that we are not owned by our possessions.

Feasting and football are not BAD things but they are NOT what Thanksgiving is all about and if we limit ourselves to them we will lose an opportunity. Why not make a part of your Thanksgiving  this year a bit of time to literally proclaim your thanks – to the people around your table. Thanks for the food you have to eat, for those who grew it, prepared it and served it; thanks for living in a nation where we have all of our freedoms, and in which there are many opportunities for us to roll up our sleeves and help make the world better. The secret is that simply by being grateful and thankful life is betterfor us… for everyone.

Don

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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