“Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday,” stated a news reporter on the TV program I had on in the background while I was eating breakfast. She wasn’t anti-religious, just clarifying that it’s not tied to a particular religion like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Easter. The discussion was about the stores opening their doors earlier and earlier each year to capture eager Christmas shoppers. Black Friday is beginning to start on Thursday–the day we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S.
I feel like Thanksgiving Day has become less significant to many Americans. Teachers in public schools are shying away from teaching the courageous story of the Pilgrims who risked their lives in search of religious freedom. One public school teacher said that if they talk about Thanksgiving to their students, they have to say that the Pilgrims thanked the Indians for teaching them how to plant and harvest crops. And some feel that talking about Indians and Pilgrims is “politically incorrect” so many teachers just skim over the event rather than risk some angry parent stomping into the classroom.
My family used to go to church on Thanksgiving morning. It was a time to thank God for His goodness and blessings. Many churches today no longer have Thanksgiving services, though some serve the community with food during this week as a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus, which is wonderful! But for many, shopping for bargains seems to be more important than spending time with God or with family.
As Christians we still have a voice. We can tell our children and grandchildren the story of Thanksgiving and why we celebrate this day each year. We can go around the table and say what we are thankful for. We started this tradition over thirty years ago. Not only did we share what we were thankful for, I also recorded those blessings in a Thanksgiving Journal. I now have thirty-three years worth of Thanksgiving blessings to pass down to the next generation.
No matter your circumstances, find something to be thankful for and tell your loved ones how God has blessed you this year. Better yet–write it down!