For the last several years it has felt to me that Thanksgiving has become a bit of an afterthought to Christmas. And trust me, I love Christmas. My favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I have A Charlie Brown Christmas tree on display in my office all year, and I have been listening to Christmas music since….well…I never really stopped.
It is mid-November and Christmas movies are already on TV, Christmas music is already hitting the airwaves, Christmas lights adorn our neighborhoods and Christmas displays are up and buzzing in every store we visit.
As a Christmas kinda guy, I love all that. Absolutely love it.
For as long as I can remember, Christmas and Thanksgiving have been bundled together, and that really is a good thing! Any kid in school can explain why Thanksgiving means that the teachers lighten up just a bit, and Christmas break is all that much closer.
But what I don’t enjoy is when Thanksgiving simply gets lost in the Christmas hustle and bustle, becoming a mere gateway to “the Holiday Season”.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings we have been given in this turbulent world we call home, and to give praise to God for all He has carried us through. It is a day to remember those who are less fortunate than we, and to consider ways to shine a light and offer a helping hand to those in need.
Thanksgiving is also a wonderful time to give thanks for the Savior, who was born that we might be born again.
When we give thanks, we join with the Pilgrims who first joined in peace, cooperation and celebration with Squanto and the Native Americans,
We join George Washington, who appointed a day of thanks to “the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation”
We join John Adams, who asked that we give thanks and pray to God “that He would smile on our colleges, academies, schools, and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals, and religion”,
We join Abraham Lincoln, who solidified the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens… and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to to heal the wounds of the nation…”
We join with the Apostle Paul, who encouraged us by writing, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
And most importantly, we join with Jesus, who regularly gave thanks to the Father during His time on earth.
Thanksgiving is and should be a special and unique time to give thanks for all we are blessed with, to confess our sins to a loving God who is faithful to forgive our sins, to ask Him to heal the wounds of our nation, and to ask His peace and favor to be upon us as we seek to do His will in the coming year.
Thanksgiving is a special time, and much much more than just pre-Christmas.
6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving -More Than ‘Pre-Christmas’”
Hey Jason, thanks for this article. It seems the Christmas season starts right after Halloween on Nov. 1 these days. And instead of giving thanks at any point, we jump right into “buying season” – which I guess is a topic for another post. I love Christmas as well, but we need to reflect more on the blessings God has given us. I think what you share from the founders and former presidents is a great start. God bless.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It was on my heart, and I figured others could relate…
Jason, last year you allowed me to reprint your Christmas Charlie Brown blog for our business mailing that we send to clients. May I have permission to use this one for Thanksgiving as well? (With all rights given to you, of course.) Besides many strong Christians, our mailing list includes a host of nationalities and religions, and you have the ability to bring Christ into your writing without being preachy or offensive. You have a God-given gift to put into words what I would love to say! God bless you!
Thanks for touching base! Thank you so very much for the kind and encouraging words. You have my permission and I’m honored!
Thank you for putting into words your thoughts of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember going to someone ‘s house for dinner during the Thanksgiving season when I was a young adult and seeing a fully decorated Christmas tree. I was really shocked, but manners kept me from saying anything about it. We do need to have a season of thankfulness to God for all His blessings unto us. When I was a child of the 1950’s, I was just as excited about getting the family together at Thanksgiving as I loved Christmas with all the music and friends. Have a Happy Thanksgiving this year everyone, and remember to thank God
Thanks for sharing a bit of your story! I can only imagine just how much things have changed since your 50’s childhood, Yet, some things remain the same, like the joys of gathering and celebrating together while giving thanks to God for His goodness!
May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!