When I was growing up in Ohio, Thanksgiving was an exciting time of the year. For the holidays we rotated visits to my Mom’s family in Detroit and Dad’s family in Dayton, Ohio. Each side of the family held its own delight. Thanksgiving in Detroit included going to the J.L Hudson parade in downtown Detroit. Before the parade we often went with my grandmother to the Italian parish where she played the organ and sang for the mass. We knew what Thanksgiving was all about–family–getting together, being grateful. I learned a lot during these family gatherings about gratitude.
When I think of gratitude and giving thanks, however, I don’t always think of Thanksgiving, although it was a very important day. I most remember other moments growing up when all throughout the year Mom or Dad reminded us, “Say, thank you.” We were very young and were learning to acknowledge something given to us or done for us. As the years went on, the reminder often came, “Did you write Aunt so and so a thank you note for the gift they gave you for your birthday, first communion, etc.?” We learned to let someone know of our gratitude.
Gratitude and saying thank you is not just for kids. Gratitude and saying thank you involves all of us. I recently read an article that suggested if each day we named for ourselves five “things” for which we are grateful, we create within ourselves a sense of “abundance” rather than scarcity. The gratitude may be for a drop of dew on a fallen leaf. Or perhaps, brilliant streaks of light on a darkened sky. Or another might be the kind word of support someone offered today. Or the feeling of contentment in the midst of troubled times. Or…
In the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving on a particular day. A day to pause and remember and to give thanks. As we celebrate Thanksgiving we remember to give thanks everyday of the year…for radiant sky of dawns early light, and…and…and…
We embrace giving thanks.
Blessings and peace