Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thanksgiving Season...


When I was a little girl, the Christmas season officially began the day after Thanksgiving Day. Those were simpler times. In more recent years that has changed. The introduction of the holiday season has gotten earlier and earlier. There are two ways to look at this precocious attitude toward silver bells, fir trees and chestnuts roasting. One might say Christmas has become too commercialized and that retailers are just trying to cash in on a longer holiday season. Others see this elongated season as a move to embrace a wonderful time of the year for as long as possible. No matter which attitude you ascribe to there is another consideration. By rushing into the Christmas season one hardly has time to relish and savor what could become a month-long theme of gratitude which culminates on Thanksgiving Day. I don't think Jesus would object to postponing the celebration of his birth by expressing our gratitude in this way. His teachings would imply that He considered "gratitude" a noble characteristic...


A favorite story of mine is found in the New Testament in Luke, chapter 17:

"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."


Through His healing power, those who were lepers were relieved from pain and a certain lingering death. They were given a new life. The expressed gratitude by one of the lepers earned the Master's blessing, while the ingratitude manifested by nine merited His displeasure.


I don't mean to be critical of those whose thoughts are already focused on "Christmas." I just think, for me at least, there might be a better way.


Instead of rushing headlong into the Christmas season, I hope to take a few moments each day throughout the month of November to reflect upon the many blessings in my life. My hope is that on Thanksgiving Day as I gather with family I will be infused with an attitude of gratitude!



13 comments:

Cynthia L. said...

Lovely post. Something to think about and I to follow. Love your mantel! I have a turkey on a pumkin just like the one in the first photo! I love him. Thank you for reminding us to be thankful.

Farmgirl Chaos said...

Thanks for saying this. I can't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean I won't hit up Hob Lob and get some decor at half price, that I keep in a closet until it's time to decorate. :)
There's a reason for having Thanksgiving (and not just to eat turkey). I look forward to reflecting on all that God has blessed me with.

Julie Harward said...

I have always loved that story too. And I so agree..slow down and really be grateful! I love all your decorations..so pretty! :D

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I agree with you. It seems we rush from Halloween right into the Christmas season.

Amy said...

Lovely thoughts and lovely pictures, Suzanne! I appreciate both. So often we rush past that which is of most worth- gratitude- sincere and personal- is definitely something to linger over!

Erin said...

I happen to agree with you Suzanne! :)

While I AM thinking of Christmas early this year, it's only because I have my first holiday craft fair coming up in a couple weeks. But I will not decorate until Thanksgiving day!

My family always did the day after Thanksgiving. I do the day of...because I don't live near my family. So, my daughter and I are alone on Thanksgiving. Decorating ON Thanksgiving gave me something to look forward to each year instead of being sad about not being with my family.

Lisa said...

I agree! When I was little, we decorated two weeks before Christmas and it still seemed like an eternity til that day! We did thoroughly enjoy our Thanksgiving break! We celebrated Thanksgiving at my grandmother's with a great meal, visiting with extended family, and watching a few good football games! Good memories and traditions that I hope my children have grasped the meaning of and will carry on when it's their time! Beautiful post! Have a wonderful month of Thanksgiving!

p.s.phyllis sews said...

Thanks for sharing reminder about how important gratitude is.
Years ago I asked my daughter to write in her journal every day 5 things she could be thankful for. Last year as I packed up our boxes to move, I found her journals and she continues to write her "Big Five" each day. It made me realize that I needed to do that, too. I have been doing this for over a year and have found that my perspective is so changed when I am finding those daily moments, experiences and people to be grateful for.

Mia said...

I may have Christmas music playing already, but I have decided to follow your lead and focus on gratitude this month.

jawebbtn said...

I totally agree and am thankful for this post! I've been feeling pressure to "jump into" Christmas. My tradition has always been to wait until after Thanksgiving and I know feel great about keeping it that way! I had already decided to start a gratitude journal for next year...now I'll start now!

Kerstin@TheRealHousewivesofIdaho.blogspot.com said...

True! I love having November as a reminder of having an attitude of gratitude. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my Giving Tree. :) Kerstin

Chapman Channel said...

Thanks for the sweet thoughts on Thanksgiving! I may steal some of them for my own thanksgiving thoughts! :)

Kathy said...

I really loved reading your post-one good thing I think many still count their blessings and surround themselves with the beauty of autumn