A co-worker mentioned this week that he enjoyed Thanksgiving better than Christmas because it was a more “pure” holiday. I pondered this for a couple of days and, as much as I hate to admit it, I agree with him.
I love Christmas because of what it means, what it stands for. Jesus coming into the world showed how much He loves us. He did not just give us advice on our problems or how empathy for our problems, He entered into our problems and seeks to redeem them and us by his power.
Unfortunately Christmas has become something less than what it should be. It is now a spectacle, something that is more about driving our economy that it is about the Divine One coming to Earth. The stress of purchasing gifts for people because they are purchasing gifts for us even though we don’t have the money to do so and the stress of cramming more and more activities into a 4 week window builds up to a day when we rush around trying to act like we are having fun even though we are happier about it being over than anything else. How sad.
Thanksgiving is different, at least for me. It is about reflecting on the blessings God has given us and spending time with family. It can get stressful trying to cook for some people, but it is not a 1-2 month long stress, just a couple of days worth. I like it and I’m glad that we have it.
My life seems to go by at something akin to warp speed with family, church, work, and everything in between vying for my time. On and around Thanksgiving, though, I make myself take stock of the past year and contemplate the goodness that has come my way. I also look at the “bad” things that have occurred and often find that somehow I was made better by having gone through them.
So, try to join me in enjoying this Thanksgiving, possibly one of the last of the “pure” holidays.