Have you noticed? It’s everywhere. Stores, malls, restaurants and radio stations all have it. And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. What is it? Christmas music. It’s been permeating our air waves for the last two weeks. Moreover, tv stations are already showing Christmas movies. C’mon guys, it’s November sweeps month. Aren’t there enough top-the-chart movies to show without digging into the Christmas batch?
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not the Grinch. I love Christmas music. I even like Christmas movies. But as I wrote in an article that appeared in the November 18, 2001 issue of the Lookout, Thanksgiving is slowly being squeezed out of existence by those seeking to extend the Christmas consumer shopping season.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s one of the few unscathed by religious controversy. Who can argue with a holiday centered on giving thanks? Yet I fear we’re going to lose this holiday, not from commercialism or controversy, but from neglect.
While Christmas music and decorations surround you as soon as you walk out the door of your home, you don’t have to let the Christmas frenzy (or even a football game – whoops, different soapbox) squeeze the thanks out of your Thanksgiving holiday. It’s your responsibility and mine to keep the tradition of Thanksgiving alive for our children so the next generation continues to give thanks where thanks is due. Here are some tips I gave in that article to keep the thanks in Thanksgiving:
*Make it a holiday for friends. We often think of the holiday as a time for family. Yet the Pilgrims and the Indians feasted together to share their thankfulness. Start thinking of how you could encourage your church or community group to hold a thanksgiving dinner and service the weekend before the Big Day so you can worship and thank God with other believers.
*Have a family time of worship. Sing praise songs, have younger children perform vocal or instrumental solos of praise songs. Have each family member share how they have seen God work in the past year, than praise God together for His wonderful works.
*Place several kernels of popcorn by each person’s plate. Have each person name a blessing for each kernel they receive.
*While the Bird is cooking, put your feet up, grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and write a thank-you note to someone whom God has used in your life recently.
What am I going to do? I’ve already started to gather my favorite praise CD’s that I’m going to play as I prepare our family feast.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May God continue to shower His richest blessings on you.