What Matters Most Is The Thanks

I’m a sucker for tradition. I love old movies. I love family folklore. I want to believe that “the way” we do things at Thanksgiving is the way generations before us celebrated as well. I love the fact that Deb shares the same need for traditional holiday gatherings (with some southern country flair compliments of her beloved Mimi). We’ve blended our family traditions and created some new ones of our own. So on Thanksgiving there will be turkey and dressing and candied sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts and cranberries and pumpkin pie – just like the Pilgrims (well at least in my revisionist history of the First Thanksgiving anyway).

But it has occurred to me that none of that really matters. How can you celebrate Thanksgiving WITHOUT turkey? Or Stuffing? Or Sweet Potatoes? Or Cranberries? Or God Forbid – Pumpkin Pie???

We have dear friends that have traveled east to visit family and celebrate an ‘Italian Thanksgiving’ complete with lasagna.  My cousin Colleen who lives in Thailand can’t get pumpkin for a pie this year. Our son Ty is stationed at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea and will likely be eating in a mess hall and missing Mom’s special recipes. And millions of folks will be having Thanksgiving pizza, sub sandwiches, burgers or God-knows-what. And they’re (we’re) the lucky ones. Millions more will be starving.

But those of us that can give thanks, should. We should be thankful for one another. Thankful for love. Thankful for a full belly. And a place to lay our heads. Thankful for a God that provides light even in our darkest hours.

There is certainly no shortage of pain or heartache or suffering in our world. And perhaps you’re suffering, too. For me Thanksgiving this year is a little bittersweet; feeling especially melancholy about the separation next year from family and friends (especially my grandkids). Yesterday I was feeling down and then I received a Thanksgiving card in the mail from my cousin Rose. Just a simple thing but it immediately lifted my spirits. And for that I am thankful – thankful to be loved and to be part of a family that remembers to share their love. Thanks Rose, you’ll never know how much I needed your note!

So tomorrow I will remember to give thanks for all my blessings. And I know that it won’t matter if Thanksgiving dinner isn’t perfect in every way (everywhere) because it’s the sharing that matters not the meal that is shared.



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