Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Every Day


Once a year in America, we gather around a burdened table with family and friends to stuff our stomachs to match the full feeling of our hearts.  It's a time where we try and show the abundance of blessings in our lives by an abundance of food on our tables.  It's always been this way.

Personally, I think one day a year for this is ridiculous.  Really, we should stuff ourselves at least once a week if not daily.  Why should this abundance of over-indulgence be reserved for the last Thursday of every November?

I know there is a true reason for the festive furnishing of a feast and someone will say, "Robbie, you're a writer.   You should have researched this before you wrote it."   But truly, I don't care.  I have my own thoughts that I want to put to paper and historical facts are only going to bog the blog.  I know there were Indians, excuse me, Native Americans, and Pilgrims, which were really illegal aliens since none of them had a Green Card.  Whatever Thanksgiving was in the beginning is not important to me.  What it is now, however, is.

On Thanksgiving Day I have but one rule - I never leave the house.  This rule was put into place because at the time I was working two jobs and was forever in my car.  Thanksgiving Day I refused to budge from my domicile and for fifteen years I've only broken that rule three times.  Two of those were due to visiting out of state relatives and the third was because I had a big mouth.  Being in charge of the missions ministry I had talked my pastor into holding a Thanksgiving potluck for all of those who didn't have family to spend it with.  It was tremendous fun and a great success, but the next year I kept my mouth shut and stuck to my rule.  We stayed home.

Of course, we opened our doors to whoever needed a place to celebrate and over the years our house has been full of family and friends.  Rarely has it ever been just my family around that browned turkey that's been filling the house with it's luscious aroma since five in the morning.  The meaning behind Thanksgiving, for me, is not to lock your doors and hoard what you've been given over the year, but to throw the doors wide and share the blessings and gifts.  It is only in the giving that you truly receive.

I miss the days when the city shut down and became a ghost town.  Streets were empty, bars were closed and there was only one 7/11 open in a 20 mile radius.  If you forgot the black olives you just did without.  There was no grocer open, not even Wal Mart.  At that point you really don't need it and loved ones gathered around sharing lives and love won't care that it's missing.  We need to claim our holidays back.  We need to show the people we love that they are more important to us than getting those special deals at discount prices.  Fill your house with laughter, love and lives.

And that's what I'm thankful this year, the loves in my life of family and friends.  I don't mourn the ones who have taken separate paths; I relish the ones who walk this journey with me.  I'm thankful for every moment that I get to show the people I love how important they are to me.  I'm not thankful so much for the material things even though I've been very blessed there.  I am extremely thankful, however, for the tangible intangibles like friends that feel comfortable in my home, children who live their lives according to their journeys and not the dictates of others who think they know better and for the girls who make life a dream reality.  I am blessed in so many ways and for that I give thanks on more than just this Thanksgiving Day.  Every day is Thanksgiving.

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