Christmas is on our minds from one year to the next but in November we have a special day to remember to be thankful for our blessings. They tell us the celebration was begun by Pilgrims and Indians in the early life of our country. It was an excellent example that we used to follow. Then the worship of the 'golden calf' or rampant commercialism crept into our activities.
The family gatherings and church services in November focused our thoughts on all we have to appreciate in our lives. We taught our children that it is good to express our gratitude to God from our grateful hearts.
The high pressure ads began to warn us to go to the sales on 'Black Friday,' the day after Thanksgiving. We would be showered with bargains in gift purchases. The ads became more insistent and the beginning of the sales moved forward year after year.
I could not believe the commercials this year! As soon as we swallowed our turkey dinner we must rush to the stores, almost break down the doors and trample the slower shoppers.
Was I the only person appalled by the greedy suggestion? What happened to giving thanks? I believe that if we start right now, we can regain the spirit, the importance, of the Thanksgiving Season in the years to come.
Much, much more than turkey and dressing and the family gathered around the table is in store for us now. We are preparing for an appreciation of the greatest gift ever given.
When the creator of the universe bestows on his children the gift of eternal life, he does it in a special way. He sends a baby boy to be born in humble surroundings. Don't we all love babies? We say "ooh and aah" and congratulate the parents. In the case of God's son, however, the whole world sings his praises to this very day. The humble shepherds approached the stable in awe. The rich and powerful came on camels following the star God gave to guide them.
Unlike the merchants who promise gifts for less money, God's gift is unique. He is the only giver of eternal life. I understand why some have trouble believing in so monumental a promise, but I think, "How can we expect less from the creator of the universe?" The second miracle is that all we have to do to receive it is to believe in him.
Let us sing hallelujahs and give thanks for the miracle made new every year at Christmastime.
May you and your family have a blessed, thankful Christmas.
Thanks for reading.