Being thankful for our many blessings is sometimes a little difficult, isn’t it? After all, we have so much to gripe about all the time. Or do we?
The truth is that we lose our perspective very easily when it comes to all the positive things we have going for us. It’s human nature to dwell on the negative — the things that aren’t going right. It’s like “news.” It’s usually bad, is’t it? The things that are running smoothly, we take for granted. And the things that are off the track, well, that’s “news.”
So at least there’s Thanksgiving once a year to get us thinking positively about our life. If we can do it more often, all the better.
Do you sit there at Thanksgiving dinner and discuss all the things that you have to be thankful for? It’s a very good exercise in gaining a better perspective about our lives. We often think in terms of possessions, don’t we, such as our house, car, money and gadgets? Well, that’s certainly logical, but there’s more, a lot more. Let’s start a list and see where it goes.
Hmm, things to be thankful for other than the latest iPad, iPhone, the newest computer software, the latest car, etc.
Okay, how about being thankful for:
• A summer day without mosquitoes.
• The good health of your family.
• The overcoming of your golf slice. Permanently, we hope.
• That magic moment when you saw your first-born.
• When that “clunk” under your car turns out to be a minor, rather than a major, repair.
• Quiet moments beside the fireplace on cold winter nights.
• When the clothes washing, folding and putting away are finally done.
• The sound of the car engine starting on the coldest winter morning.
• When the kids remember on their own to say, “Thank you.”
• When the kids remember to do or say anything that they’re supposed to remember.
• Long summer evenings at the lake.
• When you made that PVR mistake, and you didn’t erase your favourite movie video, after all.
• Gentle snow falling on Christmas Eve.
• Quiet dinners with your mate after the kids are in bed. Enjoy them now, because eventually the kids will stay up later than you do.
• The smell of fresh bread.
• Good friends.
• That first cup of hot coffee or tea on a cold morning.
• The tender touch of a child.
• The envelopes in the mail look like bills, but they’re not.
• The magic of those three words: “I love you.”
When did all this Thankfulness begin?
Well, I guess most of us would say, “Oh, it started with the Pilgrims.” Actually, the roots of Thanksgiving go even farther back. The tradition draws on the harvest celebrations of European peasant societies.
In North America, Explorer Martin Frobisher is believed to have been the first European to celebrate Thanksgiving on these shores. That was in the eastern Arctic in 1578, about 40 years before the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in Massachusetts.
Thanksgiving was later observed in Halifax at the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, and the Loyalists then brought the holiday to other parts of the country.
• Have you noticed what they’re charging for a turkey these days? Makes you glad that in the old days they didn’t celebrate with steak.
• Thanksgiving in the old days was not easy. Can you imagine a meal of turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, corn, cider, squash, rolls, turnips and pumpkin pie — all when the invention of Alka-Seltzer was still 300 years away.
• Harry and Charlie are chatting about Thanksgiving and Charlie says, “Yeah, we’re having the usual thing for the big dinner — relatives!”
• A first-grade teacher asked her class to explain what they were thankful for. One youngster stood up and said, “I’m very thankful that I am not a turkey.”
• Willpower — when you decide to start your diet on Thanksgiving Day.
• Kid’s logic — A four-year-old was asked how she liked her Thanksgiving dinner. She replied, “Well, I didn’t like the turkey much, but I sure liked the bread it ate.”
• At dinner, mom spoke of the family’s many blessings. First on the list came their three healthy children. And she added, “I should also pray for patience to endure our three blessings.”
• Thanksgiving is the day when the whole family gives thanks that the don’t have to eat turkey again until Christmas.