A Trinity of Holidays
Dear old and new friends,
It’s Thanksgiving, and merchants in a hurry for the beginning of the lucrative holiday season are flooding television and newspapers with advertisements for Christmas gifts. This holiday impatience is contagious. Countless are infected and can’t wait for the Thanksgiving dinner to end so to race off to join crowds of shoppers in city streets and businesses already decked out for Christmastide, while everywhere one hears the music of ancient carols. These all conspire to make it difficult to realize we’re celebrating Thanksgiving.
Paradoxically, I propose adding yet another holiday to Thanksgiving—Valentine’s Day! By blending Thanksgiving’s turkeys with snowy Christmas trees and toy-making elves along with giant red hearts, pink cupids and bouquets of red roses of the Feast of Lovers we can add to our gratitude. That’s ridiculous, you say…it will only distract people! Really? More than competitive TV football games or hectic Christmas shopping now divert us from visiting and enjoying our family on this ancient feast of autumn gratitude?
We Americans already easily forget we are so gifted; don’t let a premature Christmas eclipse or thrilling football games sidetrack us from being truly thankful! Be aware of that Grand Canyon of disparity in wealth between us and the impoverished, unemployed and homeless, and our need to alleviate their suffering by giving thanks in tangible acts.
To the many dishes on Thanksgiving tables that are from treasured old recipes I add:
A Holy Feast of Giving Thanks
1.) Begin by recalling the Haystack reflection of two weeks ago about the African American Father Divine and his conception of tangibilitating…giving in concrete, tangible ways.
2.) Write a short list of those things for which you are most grateful. Keep it short so you are able to express your gratitude not simply in words but in tangible ways.
Remember, we've added Valentine’s Day to our Thanksgiving. Love is divine; a gift you can’t buy, trade, barter for or win. Love is a free gift that is ever-evolving.
3.) Now return to your gratitude list. At the top might be those who taught you how to love by their loving of you—your parents. Next, teachers and mentors whose love helped shape you. Now place with them the person who presently loves you most, and whom is your greatest love. Then on Thanksgiving express your appreciation and gratitude for her or him in a tangible way by giving them a lover’s gift of affectionate gratefulness. It can be simple or elegant. Regardless, it will be a treasure because it is filled with love.