As a kid, my favorite of all the Holidays was Thanksgiving. We always celebrated at my Grandparents' house. It wasn’t out of the question to have 35-40 people gathered around five or six different tables. Their house was always full of laughter and love. Everyone would eat to their full. The parents would catch up on each others lives; the kids would catch up on play. It was a tradition I counted on, one I needed.
Thanksgiving evening, my Aunt Beckie would sit down at the old piano next to the kitchen. Like clockwork, you’d see most everyone shift their attention in her direction. She’d start playing old hymns from times past. Grandpa would always stand to the side of the piano singing with her. Pretty soon, ten other voices chimed in. If I close my eyes, I can still hear those sounds; I can still see a few tears rolling down thankful faces. It made me appreciate what I had. It helped me understand what it meant to be thankful for life and family.
With today’s fast paced culture, I’ve learned I have to be a bit more forward in how I encourage my kids to have an attitude of gratefulness. Technology, though it has it advantages, has watered down social interactions, and I want more than that for my children. I want my kids to feel the joy that sitting down at a big table with those they love, and lots of food, brings. I want them to have memories of playing outside with their cousins and friends without the burden of a cell phone. I want them to experience the unmatched feeling of giving to those who can do nothing for them in return. Twenty years from now I want them to be able sit down with their children, with watery eyes and a full heart, telling them stories of how it used to be. Just thinking about that kind of legacy makes my heart overflow.
So as we go into this Thanksgiving Holiday, here’s my wish for us all:
May our hearts be open.
May our burdens be lite.
And in all things, Be Thankful.