In a year of unpredictability, Thanksgiving may seem like an odd holiday to celebrate. Endless cancelations, disappointments, and heartbreak in 2020 have been frustrating, discouraging, and sometimes, life-changing. It is hard to give thanks in hard things. What, exactly, are we supposed to be thankful for this year?
A different Thanksgiving
As we lament the loss of what we’ve had in Thanksgivings past, we can embrace the new opportunities presented by an out-of-the-ordinary holiday season.
For many of us, Thanksgiving celebrations won’t include the regular family traditions that we are used to. Gatherings are limited and traveling is restricted. Thanksgiving will be small. A small celebration is the perfect time to practice simple thanksgiving. How can we make Thanksgiving special for the people we can gather with this year?
Thanksgiving filled with kindness
This is the perfect opportunity to get creative: reconnect, mend broken places, and maybe, even build new relationships. Is there a lonely neighbor who could be safely included at your table? Could you prepare Thanksgiving baskets to deliver to neighbors who have nowhere else to go? Homemade treats, specialty spreads, coffee and tea all make great gifts for holiday encouragement.
How about acts of service? We can safely rake leaves, send cards, have groceries delivered, or buy gift cards. We are only limited by our imagination. Blessing others is easy. We simply need to show them that we remember them. Simple kindness reaps extraordinary blessings for the giver as well as the receiver. This year, perhaps for the first time, we have the opportunity to truly love our neighbors, those people whom we share a community with, as ourselves.
Who knows how far a small act of kindness in such an unkind year could go?
When the new year dawned, many people talked about the “clear vision” that 2020 would bring. Then, the worst pandemic in 100 years hit. So, as March has crept to November, what can we see more clearly now that we couldn’t see on January 1st? This is the beginning of thanksgiving – clear vision. The vision to see through the fog to the reality of what is most important in our lives: faith, family, and friends. And the clear vision to give thanks for these things, even, and especially, in such uncertain times.
A new Thanksgiving
Normally, this time of year is marked by rushing, over-planning, and overindulgence. With the limitations of the 2020 holiday season, let’s embrace a new holiday normal. Simple celebrations, simple food, and simple kindness. Simple thanksgiving. As we retreat into our homes with cold weather and the pandemic still looming, let us remember the community in which we live. We were created for community. Modern Americans are expert isolationists. Since we cannot travel far or gather large to celebrate our blessings this year, let us look near, to the people around us, and seek to meet their needs. And let us give thanks in this year of hard things, because, even in the hard things, God walks with us. And for that, we can always be truly thankful.
At Horizon, we want you, our vendors and customers, to know how truly thankful we are for the opportunity to work with you in this most unusual year. We pray that you would have a most blessed Thanksgiving, and that you would know the One to Whom all our thanks is due.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thess. 5:18