Still can’t find Thanksgiving.

For weeks and months we saw displays for Halloween, from costumes to candy, from cards to countless decorations. Everywhere we looked for several weeks our eyes were exposed to the trappings of Halloween.

Then, before the Halloween displays could be removed or sold on the 50% off tables Christmas took over. In some stores I have seen Christmas displays for months now. “We don’t want to miss out on those Christmas dollars.” I noticed that Wal-Mart is getting a jump on black Friday, that day right after, what is that other holiday, oh Thanksgiving, by offering black Friday prices on their website three weeks before black Friday even arrives.

But what in the world has happened to that other holiday? The one called Thanksgiving. it has become the forgotten holiday. I don’t recall seeing even one display devoted to thanksgiving. I’m sure they’re out there but I don’t remember seeing any. Maybe it’s because they are so few and far between.

So why in the world have we lost Thanksgiving? I suppose part of the blame lies at the feet of merchandisers. Stores just can’t get enough sales generated from Thanksgiving so they push it to the side in favor of the big dollar holidays, like Halloween and Christmas. Isn’t it a shame how much we allow marketing to dictate values in our life. For some reason we fall right in line with the next merchandising promotion that is shoved in front of us as we frequent stores and businesses.

Another reason why we might be less excited about celebrating Thanksgiving is because it is the unselfish holiday. Halloween is so much about all the fun stuff we get to do in celebrating it and all the “sweets” we get overdosed with. It is pretty much a “get” holiday.

And Christmas has become the same type of celebration. Sure it is suppose to be all about what God gave to us in the person of Jesus, born on Christmas day. But how many really make that the center of their season. It is more about decorations, spending, gifts and parties. And to merchants this is the bread and butter of their entire year. So they promote it with every ounce of energy and ever conceivable means they can find. And we fall right in line with their plans and schemes.

So what ever happened to thanksgiving? I would like to invite you to join me in giving special attention this year to the forgotten holiday. It is forgotten because it is not so much about what we get but what we give. It is all about giving thanks and appreciation and gratitude to the God who is good, gracious and bountiful toward us, even when we don’t deserve it. Even when we lose him in the midst of all the other holiday celebrations and abuses.

Take special time to offer thanks to God for his goodness, graciousness and thankfulness. Celebrate Thanksgiving with all your heart.

Be a leader in your family to bring them to the same thanks and appreciation. Take some time to show your thanks to God in a special way that’s out of the box for you. Be unselfish with what the Lord has provided for you by sharing it with someone else.

Let’s refuse to march in line with the climate of our culture. Let’s determine to do everything we can during this time of the year, and all year long, for that matter, to be thankful, appreciative, self-giving servants of others. That is the key to true happiness.

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