Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours

Of the many things I’m thankful for this year, the company of friends at Potluck is high on the list.

At my place, I’ve written a good bit about gratitude over the years. Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite Thanksgiving posts:

As expected, the sermons this weekend were on gratitude, sprinkled with funny anecdotes about kids saying blessings, burnt birds and bittersweet memories. Some call these days the Holidays from Hell, and yes, sometimes they can be. Think of girlfriends meeting the-parents-of-the-object-of-desire for the first time, or a young bride making her first Thanksgiving feast for the extended family, or those who are suddenly alone and sometimes lost due to sickness and/or death. No pressure here, buck up sweetie, and be cheerful and thankful, or else! And let’s not forget the 400 football games on all day – which to watch, when? We really need one of those big split screen TVs! In like what Christmas has become; Thanksgiving puts us on the never-ending hamster wheel of obnoxious, over-achieving, forced festivity.

[…] A story from last night’s sermon illustrates perfectly the entitlement mindset that Democrats and liberals have hoodwinked many into believing, and thus hang their election hopes on.

A neighbor (say her name is Mary) sees her other neighbor (say her name is Nancy) and decides to make her a pie. She bakes a lovely pie the next day and takes it next door. Nancy is overwhelmed that her neighbor would be so thoughtful and thanks her profusely.
The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy thanks her again, but with less enthusiasm.
The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy just says “Thanks.”
The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says, “Thanks, and you’re a day late this time.”
The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says “Thanks, but next time, can you make a cherry pie instead of apple? I’m getting tired of apple.”
The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says “You know, if you put a little less sugar in the crust and didn’t handle it so long, the crust wouldn’t be tough.”
The next week, Mary has lots to do and forgets to make her pie. When she walked by Nancy’s house, she stuck her head out the door and yelled, “Hey! Where’s my pie?”

How quickly gratitude turns into a jaded sense of entitlement.

Ok, what’s the point of this rant? Thanksgiving is one of our only truly American traditions. Sure, some people call it “the hateful, racist, you-stole-our-country holiday”, because after all the First Amendment protects everyone’s axe and their right to grind it. And sure, the holiday has been bent and twisted to suit marketeers and cooking shows. I can really do without the mini-bundt cakes with festive fall nosegays at each place setting that tie into the theme of….

Why don’t we go back to the original idea? Simple people, pioneers really, expressing their pure and heartfelt gratitude for not starving to death over the harsh winter, not being killed by hostiles (regardless of their native inhabitant status – remember other European countries coveted this land and were willing to kill in God’s name to take it) or mysterious disease, and sharing what food they had with those that would share it with them. A humble heartfelt thanksgiving. Not a holiday, but a state of mind.

Shouldn’t that be our prayer every day?