We’ve all heard about the war on Christmas, but I think that there is also a war on Thanksgiving. I have been reading a lot of things about Thanksgiving in the last few weeks, and especially during the last few hours. What I notice is that giving thanks, at least giving thanks to God, has been taken out of most people’s understanding and most people’s celebration of the holiday.
Some people call it Turkey Day. That’s it? We have a nationally recognized holiday about eating turkey? If I were an outside observer from another planet, I would surely want to know why the eating of turkey was the sole subject of a holiday.
I have heard people, including our President, say that it is a day to celebrate community. That is partly right. In the myth of the “The First Thanksgiving” the Pilgrims were celebrating community. I have heard people say that it is a day to celebrate friendship. That is also partly right. The Pilgrims celebrated with their new friends, the Wampanoags. However, there is no mystery about the true purpose of the holiday. The name of it indicates that it is about giving thanks.
I have heard people talk about what they are thankful for. Some have been doing so throughout the month of November. I applaud these people, but in some cases there is a missing element. People are talking about what they are thankful for but not whom they are thankful to. In the President’s weekly address he talked about being thankful, but did not say, as presidents before him have said, that we should thank God for our blessings.
When you say, “I am thankful for my children,” what do you mean? If you only mean that you are happy that you have children or that you are proud of your children, then say so. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you are thankful for your children, it means that you are thanking somebody for them, and the one who gave them to you is God, so thank Him.
I have seen in a politically correct textbook the statement that the Pilgrims held a thanksgiving feast to thank the Indians for helping them. What? I guess that when we say we are thankful for our homes and our health, we should write a letter to the head of the Iroquois Nation and express our gratitude.
No, thanks. I’ll be expressing my gratitude to the God who is the ultimate source of all blessing. I will be giving thanks, which is what Thanksgiving is obviously about, to somebody–not just for something.