Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Think Thanksgiving Might Just be the Most Important American Holiday Ever

Halloween costumes come down, Christmas lights go up, with the obligatory Pilgrim sandwiched in between for good measure. The one holiday of the year, that should mean the most to us in this particular place in time, when the vast majority of us in this country have more than we need for mere survival, gets about as much attention as Olympic Badminton.

Welcome back I know some of you just now Googled Olympic Badminton to make sure I wasn't making things up, and just like that little holiday between Halloween and Christmas, commonly referred to as Turkey Day (don't say it, I believe I have reached a stage of enlightenment that will allow me to throat punch, straight through the internets) it surely does exist.

This day, first placed on the national calendar by none other than the right honorable Abraham Lincoln in 1863, by placing it on the fourth Thursday of every November, a day to give thanks, particularly to the creator, for the blessings we have like turkey, pumpkin pie,football, cranberry sauce, eggnog, mashed potatoes, stuffing.....( I jest, but that is a primary focus, unfortunately)

Since then, there has been a near cataclysmic slide into consumerism from Halloween, until Christmas, and lest you think that this is a fairly modern thing, it stayed that way until one fateful day in 1939 when good old Franklin D. Roosevelt (you know the father of all that is socialist in America) in an uncharacteristically capitalist move, changed it to the third Thursday, to give greedy Americans more time to consume before the Christmas holiday. Congress forced the change back again in 1941, just in time for WW2!

So, there you have it, this particular holiday, without any specific religious observance of note to hang its hat on, had to wait nearly a century into the nation's childhood to be born, and has been nearly shoved aside on more than one occasion, by its nemesis, the American Consumer Market. Fast forward to 2015. There is some precedence for this Biblically speaking, and it comes from an odd place. Check out Deut chapter 12, bet you never heard this tithe sermon before, did you?

5 But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; 6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
So, although I personally think that a day of fasting would be more appropriate for a thanksgiving holiday, there is good evidence that God intended just this sort of thing, in fact it was done every third year and the whole tithe was spent on consumable party supplies!

As we approach what I believe to be one of the most sacred days in the year, a day, when, although not compelled by historical celebrations, we stop to give thanks, it is clear that this day is under attack. I think, rather than the thankfulness, and awareness of our amazing lives that ought to accompany us every day, we barely pause for a breath, when we ought to be stopping everything cold in its tracks for this momentous occasion.

All throughout scripture, we are constantly reminded that we ought to be thankful for what we do have, at least as thankful, as we are miffed about what we don't have. If there is any true magic in the world, Rhonda Byrne has uncovered it in her book, The Magic, which I totally and wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, without reservation, every human on this planet needs to read this and apply it. “It only takes a few minutes in the morning to use gratitude to Have A Magical Day by giving thanks for the events in your day ahead of time, but this one practice alone will change the way your entire day unfolds.”
Rhonda Byrne, The Magic
The Magic is all about gratitude, and what it does in a life where it is practiced. Being thankful is such powerful magic, that you really cannot overestimate the changes that occur around you in every day, and in every thing, when you practice saying thank you!

So, I encourage you to stop. No shopping on Thanksgiving. So many of us complain about companies that are mean, and “force” employees to work through this Holiday. Bullshit, it's a free country. Quit, but don't say you were forced. Coerced, perhaps, but forced is another thing. But, if you believe that isn't okay, put your checkbook and your credit cards away, remember when stores were not open 24/7 and no computer could bring the things of life to your front door through almost no effort on your part, and take that time instead to literally count, every single thing in your life that is good. If you cannot get to at least five hundred, message me, I bet I can help your ungrateful ass get it right!

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