Thanksgiving vs. Turkey Day
For several years people have jokingly referred to Thanksgiving as "turkey day". I'm pretty sure I've used the expression myself at some point. But this year, I'm really taking into account how today's society is truly trying to shun everything relating to God, and instead, they have attempted to change our treasured traditions into something purely secular.
When we don't value, or even believe in, our Creator and all of His abundant blessings in our life, we really have no one to "thank" for those blessings. Everything we have comes from...our "hard work" or our "good luck". We deserve all we have. We've earned it.
Thanksgiving becomes about eating turkey.
Perhaps it goes a bit deeper than just devaluing God's presence in our lives. Perhaps it has become about us valuing "self" over God. Because when I no longer have anyone to "thank", I can instead focus on what I want and what I want becomes much more valuable than God. Perhaps I value consumerism. Thanksgiving Thursday has sort of morphed into Black Friday Eve. The turkey dinner merely a tired, old tradition, which just so happens to come before the biggest shopping day of the year. For that matter, we can even now shop on Thanksgiving Day! At this rate, how much longer will Thanksgiving even be kept as a tradition?
If you follow my writing, you know I can be pretty liberal when it comes to movies. I took my youngest to see "Free Birds" the other day. How I now regret that decision. The story revolves around a bunch of turkeys, who take it upon themselves to change what the pilgrims and Native Americans ATE at the first Thanksgiving. Save the turkeys!! Because we all know, Thanksgiving is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD. There was never anything mentioned about the "thankful" part of Thanksgiving. Nope, just the turkeys.
I left the theater wanting to retell the story of the first Thanksgiving to my son. The harsh winter that the Pilgrims had just previously overcome, with God's help. How God blessed the Pilgrims and the Native Americans with mutual friendship and knowledge of farming this new land, and how the harvest bounty was a blessing to the new settlers. They had so much to be thankful for, that November, and yet their lives were so much more difficult on a day-to-day survival basis than what we can even imagine. But yet they knew how important it was to set a day aside to honor their Creator and say, "Thank you, God."
Do your kids know the story of Thanksgiving? While a lot of us teach our kids to be thankful, are they keenly aware that it is from God that all our blessings come?
Honestly, who cares if you eat turkey or pizza next Thursday? We all love to eat, don't get me wrong. But we mustn't lose sight of the meaning of Thanksgiving: thanking God for all of his many blessings in our lives.
My prayer is that you and your family have a truly wonderful Thanksgiving Day! May the Lord's light shine upon you, and may you have health, peace and joy in the coming year!
Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women's groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.