I work at the Village Grille, a small restaurant in a farmer’s market. As customers go in and out of the restaurant, we chat about various things like the weather, food, kids, health, and yes, holidays. I enjoy the interaction with veterans, senior citizens, young adults, and sometimes children as they come in and go out. This week, as I leaned across the counter to chat with a young couple outside the restaurant, I asked about Thanksgiving. They remarked that Thanksgiving gets almost no coverage because the day is squeezed between Halloween and Christmas.
As the conversation rolled around to the reason for lack of emphasis on Thanksgiving, another person or two passing by joined the conversation. One of the servers in the Grille popped into hear what was going on. The discussion ensued with thoughts that a reason for the lack of advertising is that Thanksgiving is not a money-making holiday. Thanksgiving is a day that does not involve the mass sending of cards, the giving of gifts and candy. It’s a quiet day of food and, for many, football. Big companies make very little money on the holiday, so thus, no hype. According to recent statistics, the average cost for a family of ten for Thanksgiving dinner is about $50. I don’t know what family of ten spends that little, but whatever; the amount of money spent is significantly less that what a family spends on Halloween candy and Christmas cheer.
But let’s talk about what Thanksgiving promotes. Thanksgiving is an annual event to remember a historical time when the Pilgrims set aside a day to give thanks to God, whom they believed perserved them, bringing them from a past of religious persecution to a place where they could begin anew, a place that they believed would open doors of opportunity to them. (For the skeptical crowd, I know that not everyone on board the Mayflower was seeking religious freedom. I know there were several “for profits” on board.) The Pilgrims were thankful for protection, preservation, and provision. What am I thankful for?
I am thankful for so many things, probably too many to count. I am thankful for my health, my home, food on my table, a safe car in my driveway; I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the influence that my husband, now gone to Heaven ahead of me, was in my life, and I still bear the benefits of his presence; my children who have made my life interesting, exciting, and sometimes exasperating; my church family that has prayed for me during the last eight years as I endured some of the hardest events a person can endure; my friends who amuse me and keep me company; my job and my co-workers. I am thankful for the country into which I was born. I experience freedoms that others may not have the privilege to enjoy. Most of all, I am thankful that God sent His Son to be the propitiation for my sin. And the list could go on.
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about Halloween, making note that more money seems to be spent on this dismal holiday, emphasizing death and morbidity than on the holiday of joy, peace on earth, good will to men. However, both holidays bring in so much money in sales. Candy, costumes, decorations make up the bulk in exorbitant amount of sales. But who benefits from such sales? What do these two holidays do for the hearts of common people?
On this unique American holiday, take a few moments or days to contemplate how blessed we are to live in the United States of America. Send me a message about things that you are thankful for.