Every year the beginning of November brings Christmas lights and Christmas music. Businesses hang up giant wreaths and bring out signature holiday smells and flavors. The world around us becomes so enveloped in the hype of peppermint and tinsel, we forget about the holiday full of gratitude.
Why do we skip Thanksgiving?
Black Friday, now a week-long event, often causes families to rush their Thanksgiving meals to fulfill their consumer needs. We postpone sharing gratitude and pumpkin pie because it doesn’t seem as important as finding the perfect gift at the perfect price.
We should take the time to celebrate Thanksgiving just as much as we do Halloween or Christmas. Especially because Thanksgiving’s purpose is to take a pause in life to give thanks to God for what we already have. This holiday of gratitude is completely underrated.
Frank A. Clark, an American politician, put it nicely: “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.”
Over-zealous Christmas lovers would argue that depriving early Christmas celebrations would ultimately deprive celebrating Christ longer. To that, I say you are not fooling anyone.
Yes, there are many who use Christmastime as an opportunity draw closer to Christ, but it’s hard to believe buying ugly Christmas sweaters is the best way to celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ. There are far humbler ways to celebrate Him throughout the year.
Though Thanksgiving can also be commercialized, a heart full of gratitude is still at its core.
Good and bad things can be argued about every holiday, but timing is another story. You wouldn’t start celebrating Halloween in June and then skip the Fourth of July, so why is it OK to skip Thanksgiving?
Every smart company monopolizes the holidays to make a larger profit, but we can be smart too. If you’re going to celebrate the “most wonderful time of the year” a month early, don’t get caught in the commercialized aspects of it. Instead, celebrate the most important part of the holiday: Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does a tremendous job of this. Every year, the Church shares the #LightTheWorld initiative, inviting everyone to do an act of service each day in December. To me, that seems a more appropriate way to celebrate the Savior of the world.
By planning for those acts of service now instead of putting up your Christmas tree, we can prepare for a better Thanksgiving, too. It will remind us of the service we’ve received from others — something to give thanks for.
You might believe I hate Christmas, but it’s the opposite. When the time comes, I am all over the holly jolly Christmas trap music and gross advent calendar chocolates. Call me a grinch, call me a Scrooge, but there’s a time and place for everything.
Johannes A. Gaertner, a European author, professor and theologist said, “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
When the essence of a holiday is about living in gratitude and “touching heaven,” we shouldn’t celebrate that holiday hastily or overlook its meaning.
This year, don’t forget about Thanksgiving. Take time to pause and give thanks for what you have instead of rushing from one thing to another. Connect with others, express why you’re grateful for them, and remember that Thanksgiving is a holiday, too.