Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Where I live in Colorado the bright yellow aspen leaves have long fluttered to the ground leaving barren tree limbs. The days are cooler and the nights longer. And there’s a powdered sugar dusting of snow on Pikes Peak.
Of course, this is the time of year when we talk about being thankful. But some people get “the holiday blues.” They just want to get through this time of year, and they can’t wait until January 2 when it’s all over.
Sure, I understand that the holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve (and others)—can be stressful or depressing for some, but here’s some hope.
One way to beat the holiday blues is to serve and give. Do something for someone else. It doesn’t even have to be a big deal thing. Even small things can make a big impact. Here are some ideas:
• Give a smile and a kind word to the woman behind the dry cleaning counter.
• Hold the door open for another person.
• Offer to do the dishes when it’s not your turn.
• Invite someone who has no place to go for Thanksgiving to your celebration.
• Hold a “Friends Thanksgiving” before or after the actual holiday with your family.
• Think about donating food, coats, or blankets to local shelter to help those who are hungry and cold.
• Make a plan to serve a Thanksgiving meal with others at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
There is a tradition at many Thanksgiving celebrations in America that the people seated around the table take turns stating one thing for which they are thankful. So I’ve been pondering the things I am grateful for. Here are just a few:
• I am thankful that God is faithful in all seasons—in the good times and the challenging times. I’m grateful that he is loving and kind, full of mercy, and totally dependable.
• I am thankful I live in Colorado, a place with more than 300 sunny, blue sky days each year and a stellar view of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
• I am thankful for family and friends to love me, and love in return.
• I am thankful for meaningful work and the opportunity to be creative and resourceful with my gifts and talents.
• I am thankful for airplanes that can fly me to the Midwest to visit family and friends in two hours instead of driving for two days.
• I am definitely grateful for warm blankets on cold days, indoor plumbing and electricity.
Thankfulness leads to joy. Joy leads to peace. And the best news is that I can be thankful every day of the year, not just on a thankfulness holiday.
What are you thankful for? Take some time to think about what you’re grateful for. Tell others around your Thanksgiving Day meal. And then tell God. I’m sure He’d love to hear it.
May a grateful heart be yours all the year through.
Here’s a Thanksgiving Day Prayer to pray before the meal, or to pray on your own. Feel free to share it with others too.
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
Dear Lord, We humbly bow before You and we are grateful. Thank you for the beauty of Creation and the bounty of this Thanksgiving meal. We are grateful that You are our loving, kind, and faithful God. With gratitude in our hearts, we thank You for all You are and all You have done for us. And we look forward with joyful hope for all that is to come. Bless this food, bless our family and friends, bless our nation, and all we hold dear. For Your Glory and Your Name’s Sake. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.