Giving thanks for more than a feast
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
Tradition holds that we gather in groups of family and friends to feast and give thanks for the bounties we've received during the past year. The holiday fare usually includes, among other tasty treats, turkey, stuffing, oysters, yams, and pie. Don't forget the cranberries. During the day many of us watch parades and football games on the television.
The pilgrims of Plymouth celebrated the first Thanksgiving not many miles northeast of Jamestown. Strangers in a strange land, they were thankful that they had survived a bitter winter and had reaped a harvest that would hopefully see them through the next winter.
So what do we have to be thankful for?
We can be thankful for our lifestyles. We reside in a place where people are not shooting at us. We don't have to face suicide bombers when grocery shopping. We do not battle disease and pestilance and worry about our children starving to death. There are many countries around the globe where the struggle to survive is a daily task.
Life here is comfortable for the most part.
We should give thanks for our nation's freedoms. We have a long list of freedoms that we take for granted. Read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights on Thanksgiving.
Be thankful for the men and women who go in harm's way to protect those freedoms.
We ought to be thankful that we can assist those who are less fortunate. Remember the needy both at home and overseas.
The holiday shopping madness will begin on Friday. On Thursday, though, let's forget the commercialism and think about why Thanksgiving is important.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy, laughter, and love. May you be surrounded by those family and friends you care about. May you have something to be thankful for.
- Jeff McDonough