Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas after soon after that.
Like so many, our family holds a big feast on Thanksgiving Day, with many close kin at the table. We also gather, as many of us as can, sometime around Christmas too. Due to the demands on different members of our family, we have not had a full gathering at either event for a few years. But this year, we expect a crowd on Thanksgiving Day for turkey and all the trimmings.
It is very easy in this society to focus on the feast without reflecting on the purpose of this holiday – to give thanks.
The first Thanksgiving in this country was in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims broke bread with Native Americans, who had taught them how to grow corn and catch fish – skills that allowed the Pilgrims to survive in the new world. The Pilgrims, who had left England to escape religious persecution, recognized the importance of giving thanks to God for what they had. Without that as the guiding purpose, their harvest feast would have been just a big meal. By giving thanks, they created an important tradition that has continued for more than 400 years.
At my house, we will give thanks for the things the Lord has given us and we will reflect on them. And we will give thanks that so many of us can be there. We expect my son and his children, my brother and his children (including my nephew’s new wife), my wife’s sister and her family (including a newborn) and my mother-in-law. It will be quite a big crowd of Warens and Harnsbergers – 20 in all. Sandee loves to prepare for this big event and she will be cooking for days. We’ll eat until we’re full, then the men will go to the den to watch football and basketball on television and the women will sit in the living room and chat after they help Sandee clean up. Some of us will probably fall asleep. At some point, we will probably discuss how and when to get together for Christmas. And we will certainly say our prayers and give thanks to God for this past year and all He has done for us.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from the staff at CityView. May the Good Lord bless you and your family this coming year.