An outside observer, unaware of the history of Thanksgiving could be forgiven for understanding this holiday as a celebration of food. The phrase “Turkey Day” might even suggest an oddly enacted reverence for the large fowl. However, those of us who have grown up being read stories about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, who have participated in a myriad of grade school performances, and who perhaps have even joined in a pledge to record and share our thankfulness via facebook status updates, often fare no better in our practice of the day. It seems so easy for Thanksgiving dinner to become a feeding frenzy to which we feel entitled, rather than a time and place to celebrate God’s provision for us.
How then can we slow down, and begin our thankfulness by appreciating the food and drink before us in its colors, its textures, its tastes as God’s provision? (I mean, food didn’t have to taste good, nor did we have to be given the creativity to pair ingredients and bring out new flavors–that is all grace.) And from there, from this tangible provision, how can we move on to encourage each other with our remembrance of other gracious provision throughout the year?
I’ll be mulling over these questions today as I prepare the house for the arrival of our families (a sampling from both sides!). What about you? Does your family or circle of friends have any traditions that help make space for giving thanks? Please share if you do!