Let’s carry Thanksgiving in our hearts every day of the year

Thanksgiving is next week, and as many of you are planning your Thanksgiving dinner, I am too.

Thanksgiving is a very special holiday. It is a day to give thanks to God for everything we have, but it seems to be slipping through the cracks. Meaning very few actually value this day as a religious holiday. It’s a day for turkey, dressing and fancy eating….and even more shopping.

I actually think many look forward to the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, more than the actual day of Thanksgiving.  These days, stores open on the holiday to offer even more savings.

I remember when I was a little girl Thanksgiving was just that: a day to give thanks. My mom cooked for two days, and we’d eat on Thanksgiving and then chill for the rest of the weekend. I don’t remember my mom going shopping the next day or anything.

I definitely don’t remember anyone shopping on Thanksgiving Day. That’s because nothing, and I mean not even the local convenience store, was open. Nothing was open on Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, or even on Sundays. Well, some things were open on Sundays, but not many things were.

This day used to be a day to be with family and to celebrate with them. Today, it’s just more operating days. Today, the only day our society has is Christmas Day, but that seems to be slipping away as well.

So all of this leaves me to ask the question, “where are all the holidays…or holy days?’ Sadly the answer to this question is they don’t exist anymore. Our world has turned these holidays into nothing, and that is sad.  We have undermined every religious holiday we have including Thanksgiving. We don’t give thanks anymore.

It seems our society has forgotten about the concept of thankfulness.

Many of you out there are thinking “what do I have to be thankful for because I lost my job and can’t find another one?” The answer is a lot. We all should be thankful for every day that the Lord makes for us even if those days are filled with challenges like fighting illness, finding a job or simply feeding your family.

But, while Thanksgiving is in November, we should start each day with Thanksgiving in our hearts no matter the day on the calendar.

I’ll never forget my grandmother’s last Thanksgiving. We had turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings and it happened in March 2006.

It was a celebration of her 86th birthday. She said she wanted Thanksgiving for her birthday because the Lord had let her live 86 years. Her years were not easy. They were filled with hurt, pain, joy, tears, sorrow, sadness and love. But, she had them and she was thankful… in March.

The celebration was grand. Every family member was there, which was great because less than a month later our family gathered again. This time she would not be there. Instead of the joyous occasion like before, we had gathered to say our last goodbyes.

As I look back I can see my grandmother taught me more about life than anyone else, and she was always thankful regardless of the time of year and no  matter how little she had.

So as you gather around your turkey next week, be thankful. And when you are shopping for your Christmas gifts, be thankful. When you ring in the new year, be thankful and carry that thankfulness throughout every day of the year because God has given us so much. Thanksgiving should be in our hearts 365 days per year.

It is my deepest hope that everyone has a very special holiday with your families this Thanksgiving.  My column will not run on November 26 to give more room for our special feature, “How to cook a turkey.”

Melissa Cason is a staff writer for the Advance-Monticellonian. She can be contacted at melissadcason@gmail.com

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