The English language is comprised of around a million words and of all of them - thank-you is one of my favorites. Working at Hy-Vee for a number of years (resulting with much human interaction for a somewhat introvert fellow like myself.) I have learned the importance of saying thank-you. Because it conveys appreciation and legitimacy, I like saying thank-you and to be honest, I'm plumb tickled whenever a thank-you is directed at me.
Thanksgiving is only seven days away, followed by Christmas and the New Year. The more I think about these three holidays and how they precede each other, the more fitting I think it is that being thankful comes first... just for the fact that being thankful is very important.
I was raised on the notion that sometimes the little things are the most important; that gratitude never hurts, and that for whatever we have, being thankful is the best way to get through. We are to "count our blessings" and whether it's by writing a list or some other form of recording, it's a good way to realize that as a people, we are pretty doggone well off.
Quite frankly, there is a LOT to be thankful for and I'm not even going to try to write them down on paper. So to make things simple, nice and frequent thank-yous will suffice - and that is what Thanksgiving should be about. Don't get me wrong because I love Thanksgiving for other reasons as well. I like my mashed potatoes as much as the next guy and I look forward to our annual "turkey bowl" football game behind our church with zeal. But I think there's something more to our "fourth Thursday in November" than pumpkin pie and pigskin (and a whole week without classes I might add, just for those still in high school).
It's a little sad because Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that don't get a lot of recognition; there is nothing to market besides stiff dressed pilgrims toting a blunderbuss. Instead, Black Friday has made its appearance as the more dominant holiday BECAUSE of its marketing.
Not only that, Christmas is coming on the scene earlier and earlier. For 'tis the season to advertise, people; and "the sooner ya do it, the more cash you're gonna rake in" is the popular mentality. What is to profit from Thanksgiving besides sales on yams and tablecloths with cornucopias on them? People also don't want to invite their whole family, make a big meal to feed everybody and then some, and clean up afterwards. Not having Thanksgiving dinner is becoming more of the trend.
In my mind, it's not as much a holiday as it is a reflection; to take stock of what we have and be happy about it. That's why we have Thanksgiving dinner in the first place, to celebrate our prosperity and the innumerable blessings we have. It doesn't have to be a blowout with every imaginable thing on the table.
All that is really needed is a nice sit-down meal with your family where you can visit and tell each other what you're thankful for. And family itself is something to be grateful for. I can't imagine how a world wiothout family ties would function. In any event, I for one am thankful and can't quite imagine a day without saying it. For "silence gratitude isn't much use for anyone" and if somebody is lacking on the vocal aspect of it, Thanksgiving is a great place to start