Of course, you had to know that I would write about being thankful, right? It is Thanksgiving tomorrow so it is natural that I am focusing on blessings and gratitude. When I was growing up, we sat at a large table with many people and loaded with food and we all had to state just one thing that we are thankful for. Really? The table was loaded with food! There were people that we loved - many of them - sitting around the table and we all were dressed in our nice clothes - not our play clothes. It is not a stretch to see that we had much to be thankful for right in front of us.
At this time of year, it is natural to focus on gratitude and also how we show gratitude. It is a time when others bring hostess gifts to their friend's homes. We think about giving others a token of our gratitude since the Holiday season is upon us. We start to be consumed by making sure that we have not forgotten Aunt Susie's favorite sweet potato casserole or Uncle Joe's favorite pie. We shop til we drop so that we find just the right gift for little Johnny so that he has the best Christmas ever! Gifts, food and things become the focus instead of the words of gratitude or the feelings of gratefulness.
Why is it important to bring each person we care about a thing or a symbol of our thankfulness? Why is the word Thank You not enough? Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is historically a tradition of gratefulness for the harvest and abundance at a time when it was often difficult to get through the winter. It was about getting together with people to remember that we can all work together to make sure that everyone has enough. In modern times, it is a time when many people volunteer in soup kitchens to show their own gratitude. It is a time when friends and family get together to remember the love they have for each other and to support one another.
Today - and during this whole holiday season - I will be intentional about how I choose to be grateful to the people in my life. I will make sure that I use my words and express my gratitude intentionally. I will remember those who have gone before me and all those who continue to make my life rich in so many ways. I will be forever grateful for the blessings that I have and the blessings that I know are coming. I will simply say - Thank you.