Photo by my sister Briana Keizer
364 Days of Thanksgiving
You know that Christmas story where the child wishes that Christmas could be everyday – I’m specifically thinking of the Christmas cartoon involving Donald Duck and his three nephews – and everything goes wrong because they are so selfish? Well today, I am wishing that we could have thanksgiving 364 days a year – that’s not selfish, right? Who wouldn’t love to have family, friends, fantastic food, and football on a daily basis? But the real reason I wish that we could have thanksgiving 364 days a year is because we can not possibly give thanks for everything that we are blessed with in just one day.
What is Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is often thought of as a special holiday set aside for spending time with family and friends enjoying delicious food, playing/watching football, and of course being thankful. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary the word Thanksgiving has three definitions – “the act of giving thanks,” “a prayer expressing gratitude,” and “a public acknowledgment of celebration of divine goodness.” Although it is wonderful that we have set aside a special day for giving thanks for what we have, why must we wait all year before counting our blessings and giving thanks for all that we have. If we are truly thankful we should give thanks everyday for the little and the big things.
Too often we become wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life forgetting to give thanks until the fourth Thursday of November. Then even after a day full of thankfulness we forget to be satisfied with what we have and demand the selfish things we want, even if it means pushing others aside to get our greedy hands on the latest material object at a discounted conscious.
The truth about what it means to be thankful
The only problem with being thankful 364 days a year is that you have to be satisfied with what you have and who you are pretty much everyday – which is not easy. This is really hard to do when our example day of Thanksgiving is overshadowed by Black Friday. I am not saying that it is wrong to go shopping on Black Friday, but somehow black Friday seems to be encroaching more and more upon Thanksgiving. Not only are shoppers enticed by stores to be out at 6:00 on Thanksgiving for a chance to win 1 million dollars, but employees often have to give up large amounts of their day of thanks in order to prepare for the disaster ahead. It just makes me sad.
To be truly thankful 364 days a year means to give up the inner Grinch mentality towards life and allow ourselves to be opened to the good around us. It is so easy to become caught up in a wave of negativity, especially if you are constantly surrounded by such people, but if you step outside that suffocating box for just one moment and take a deep breath – consuming all of the sweet joys and blessings that surround you – you will realize just how truly blessed you really are.
Why Be Thankful
Psalms 95:2 says that we should “come before His presence with thanksgiving” that we should “shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Every new day is a gift from God, and even with the trials and heartaches that come our way we should praise Him for the blessings he has bestowed upon us. On this earth we will always have trials and tribulations, people will hurt us and tear us down, loved ones will pass away, and friends will desert us – but the good news is that this earth won’t last forever; sin and pain have an expiration date.
The secret to having Thanksgiving 364 days a year is to simply be thankful! Stop looking at the negative aspects of your life and start praising God for all the blessings He has poured down upon you. Be thankful for everything! For waking up on time, for not forgetting that important project at home, for the sound of your children’s feet running into your room in the wee hours of the morning, and for the love of your family and friends. The more you consciously give thanks for what you have and the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, the happier your life will become – how can you be grumpy when you fully realize the blessings that are constantly raining down upon you?
I personally need to work on celebrating Thanksgiving 364 days a year because I know the more I openly give thanks the greater my chances are of being a positive influence on others as they begin to see their own daily blessings. Instead of waiting for that one special day in November to sit around the beautifully prepared table and say what I am thankful for, I am going to start being thankful everyday and every night at the dinner table I am going to share at least one thing I am grateful for.
Photo by my sister Briana Keizer
The day that transcends Thanksgiving
Now if you are still wondering why I think we should be giving thanks 364 out of 365 days a year it is because there is one day that is so special it deserves it’s own special distinction. This day should not only be filled with thankfulness, but with joy, love, peace, hope, and humbleness. It is the day that is always coming.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. (John 1:14 & Isaiah 9:6)