Ah, Thanksgiving, the holiday that everyone remembers and forgets about at the same time. Commercially, it’s practically viewed as the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, with Black Friday directly afterwards. Aside from the obvious problem of the over-commercialization and secularization of Christmas and the fact that the true Christmas season starts Dec. 25 and ends Feb. 2, much has been lost in terms of people recognizing the value of Thanksgiving itself. Even many people who enjoy the holiday don’t always think of its full meaning or potential. The main focus is always on that one dinner you invite all your relatives to and that’s pretty much it. As an alternative to this shallow and limited way of celebrating a holiday, I propose a more meaningful approach.
While Thanksgiving is technically a national and not a religious holiday, there are still many spiritual meanings that can be infused with it. The concept of thankfulness itself is a great place to start. Take time to count your blessings and think about how much God has blessed you. Don’t feel guilty about what you have, but remember that it’s all a gift from God that you are a steward of. Thank God for His blessings in your life and ask Him to aid you in those places of you life where you are still lacking, whether that be in physical needs or other kinds. After recognizing your own blessings and being thankful for them, take time to remember those who have even less to be thankful for. If possible, do a bit of donating or charity work sometime during the day. Few things help to make something meaningful in the same way that taking focus off yourself does. However, if you are the type to have a family reunion on this day, it’s understandable that your time will be spent with them. If this is the case, remember to appreciate and value the family you have and approach everyone with a spirit of charity. If possible, bury the hatchet with the ones who get on your nerves for at least that day. Thirdly, remember to have some fun and enjoy the whole day and not just wait for the dinner. Play some games, enjoy the preparation of the food if you’re involved, enjoy Thanksgiving for the holiday it is. Also, remember that you can offer anything to God, both your joys and sufferings. However your Thanksgiving goes, whatever your personal family traditions are, and whether it all works out or not, you can offer prayer to God to increase its worth. May all of you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving and a relaxing break from classes.