While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday – at least that's what Wikipedia, the online dictionary states as being true. I'm not buying it.
Thankfully, I have the freedom to say what I think. How can it be so easy to declare Thanksgiving is no longer a time set aside to give thanks to God? Shouldn’t we remember the Pilgrims were giving thanks to Him and the Native Americans for surviving a brutal winter and that’s why it began as a day of Thanksgiving? Does it seem like a good idea to forget the reason we stuff ourselves full of turkey and pumpkin pie?
Has life changed so much we don't feel the need to be grateful and say thanks any longer?
Maybe I'm just having some pre-holiday anxiety – but I worry the day will come when the online dictionary will say Christmas is now a holiday referred to as Xmas. It feels as though we're getting closer to renaming the day Christ was born as the retail world refers to Christmas as just "the holidays" and schools celebrate the day without religion being a part of it.
Are we really to the point where it's lame to say, "I'm a Christian and I thank God for the many blessings He has given me?" We are fortunate to live in a country where we are free to express our beliefs without being crucified, but are we really OK with taking the "thanks" out of Thanksgiving or the "Christ" out of Christmas?
I've fallen short on going to church and praying regularly, so during my conversations with the man upstairs, I try to focus on giving thanks while apologizing for seeming so ungrateful at times. I figure If I can't be disciplined enough to walk the walk, I really shouldn't be asking Him for many favors, so I try not to do this as much. Most of all, I ask Him for guidance, as I try to steer myself in the right direction. It would be a lot easier if I'd turn the wheel over to God, but apparently I keep thinking I can do it all by myself. If I can't accomplish praying for anything else, I’ll give Him thanks for giving me the people in my life to celebrate Thanksgiving with and the freedom to be a turkey on a soapbox.
Let this holiday season begin and may I be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at email@example.com