I love this holiday so much that I've started telling people it trumps Christmas; which it obviously does. My reasons for this are valid. Let me explain.
Thanksgiving is way more chill than Christmas. There's hardly any hype. We still get time off, we're not expected to work (other than homework), the food is all the same and we cherish the time spent with friends and family. Because of these purely personal preferences, I've begun to question why we as Christ followers prefer Christmas; and I think I've come up with the start of an answer.
I posted a blog about a year ago regarding the Christmas season. Here's a little excerpt.
. . . we see the wreath hanging on our door and the lights from the tree on our desk and the hope we once had fills us again. It's going to be okay.
It's going to be okay because love came to earth to save us from the plights we had gotten ourselves into. Jesus Christ came to save us. And though it happened in the past and we still have to 'suffer' through our [lives] now, he came; he lived; he loved; he died; he saved.
It's going to be okay.
We're going to be okay. What a relief, we say, and we settle into the peace and relaxation of Christmas. Don't get me wrong, this isn't even close to a bad thing. But what we fail to realize is that two months before that, we are presented with an opportunity to recognize with thanksgiving the beauty of what is to come - Christmas.
We have a tradition in my house that before we begin thanksgiving dinner we all have to say what we're thankful for. Too many times I've had to scramble for an answer. Not because there's nothing to say, but because I haven't tuned my attention to all there is to be thankful for.
Christmas comes and presents us with something - peace, grace, salvation and usually a lot of stuff. Thanksgiving comes and expects something from us. Something that we, as North Americans, aren't always ready to give - thanks. Thanksgiving is hard because it requires us to be intentional. It requires us to turn our eyes away from our selves and up to the One who provides; to humble ourselves enough to feel small and open our hearts enough to accept the blessing.
May we today, in the midst of rest, homework and turkey, feel small and become aware of the immense gift we have been given.