Whenever anyone would ask me as a kid what my favorite holiday was, I always answered with an eager exclamation “THANKSGIVING!” I literally could not contain my excitement as I said my answer with confidence. I knew they expected what most kids might say—Christmas—but even as a young child, there was something I held dear about Thanksgiving. It was a special time for our entire family and distant relatives to come together and share a special meal around the table. Just the mere thought of it would fill my heart with thankfulness, and as a young girl, I already knew what it meant to be content and have enough. It wasn’t about getting all the presents, which yes, I loved that too. It was about being most thankful for a place to gather, the family around us, and the food on the plates in front of us.
To this day Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. It’s not so much about the day, but more about the meaning behind it. I suppose to some it’s a day spent slaving away in the kitchen with football on the tv after the parade. However, I can’t help but feel a heart full of gratitude when I pause and think of all that I have to be grateful for, and a day to celebrate just that. To me it’s more than just a day, or the food that is being served. It represents the love we have for one another being presented in the effort we put forth to bless our loved ones on this special day. Gathering together with family and friends to show them just how much we treasure their relationships in our lives. This meaning is what I hope to pass down to my kids.
It’s about inviting others in to our homes, and to gather around our tables, to show kindness and blessing, not just on Thanksgiving, but rather all year long. That we join together to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves, and carry a sense of belonging in being apart of something that is not solely about us, but rather celebrating those around us. When we take our eye off of ourselves, and focus on others, we choose to see all we have, instead of what we think we are lacking, and all of a sudden everyone has something to be thankful for.
As a girl, I might not have been able to articulate all of that, but I sensed deep in my spirit that there was something far greater and purposeful in gathering together around the table. When our hearts are full with thankfulness we can bring this offering of praise to the Lord, for His good gifts, and provision in our lives.