November 27, 2010

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

All week, I intended to write a Thanksgiving post based on a post written by Matt at The Church of No People last Monday. It's taken until Saturday, but I'm finally getting around to it.

In his post, Matt talked about how we spend Thursday focused on being thankful for all we have, only to hit the stores at the crack of long before dawn on Friday because we want more. People are only too anxious to leave Thanksgiving in the dust as they camp out in parking lots waiting for Black Friday sales to begin. The irony is that as Thanksgiving ends and we turn our attention towards Christmas, we celebrate the gift of Christ by becoming so consumer-minded that, too often, we lose our gratitude for the greatest gift ever.

Source: Background Fairy
My comment on Matt's post was about how so many bloggers had used the first 25 days in November to write daily posts about things that fill them with gratitude. Those posts were all wonderful to read, and humbling as they reminded me of so many things I have for which to be grateful. I suggested that to keep that spirit of gratitude through the Christmas season, maybe the posts should begin with Thanksgiving and lead up to Christmas.

So that's what I plan to do for the next few weeks. I'm not promising a daily post, because keeping a tight blogging schedule is not one of my gifts. But we'll see.

Today I am grateful for the time spent with family on Thanksgiving. Thursday was spent with cousins we only see once or twice a year. Their grandmother and my grandmother were twin sisters, and growing up, our families often spent Thanksgiving together. As the twins got older and each lost their husbands, the custom fell by the wayside. My cousins recently decided to revive the tradition, and I'm grateful for that. Of the twins' children, only my mother and one son on their side of the family (and his wife) are left. It's wonderful to see them together on Thanksgiving, as they were on so many other Thanksgivings, long before the rest of us came along.

What about you? What were you grateful for this Thanksgiving? How do you maintain that spirit of gratitude through the holidays?

Until next time,

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. ~ Psalm 100:4-5


  1. Just as Christmas is a state of mind and heart, Thanksgiving can be, too. What a great idea to continue with the giving of thanks. I am not by nature one to ponder the specifics (you know how vague I am!), but it certainly felt good and right to do it for November. I'd probably do a lot of repeating in December. I will, however, look forward to your growing list. And call me nuts, but I think that anything can be an offering to the Lord even shopping on Black Friday. (No, no, I didn't...horrors...I don't brave crowds well, but I sure am the happy recipient of a computer that my daughter-in-law stood in line for last year.)

  2. Vee -

    I think everyone who reads your blog benefited from your daughter-in-law's sacrificial Black Friday shopping, so we are all the happy recipients of her willingness to fight those crowds!

  3. hi margaret!

    i love this idea! i am thankful for a delightful
    visit from all five of our kids (we brought
    hailey home from brazil two weeks early-

    merry Christmas!


  4. I'm particularly grateful for recently reconnecting with one of my cousins of whom I have such warm childhood memories. It was totally God's doing--He healed the brokenness from childhood hurts and created such an intense desire for family togetherness that we could not keep apart any longer.

    As for maintaining the spirit of gratitude during the holidays (and all year long for that matter), I find that it's easier to do when we focus on what's good and positive in our lives instead of focusing on what we perceive as lacking. Just this afternoon I had to purposefully put that into practise--I was in a funk of a mood, dwelling on the fact that I'm not married yet. I realized that my mood and attitude were of absolutely no benefit and that I had to snap out of it quick. That's when I started to think about what's true, honest, just, pure, and lovely...and the soul peace returned. Thank God!

    I love your posts, Margaret. I am not able to read them as often as I would like, but when I am to do so, they are always a blessing.

  5. What a great idea! The day after Thanksgiving we left town to visit friends who live in the literal middle of no where. I am so greatful for the time we spent together just enjoying one another. I am also greatful that I go into Advent with nothing left to buy for anyone.

    I look forward to seeing your future posts.