Now before you lovely readers shoot me or hastily unfollow, let me explain: Thanksgiving is overrated. Thanks-giving, on the other hand, is not nearly as pushed as it should be.
Allow me to get my point across. Have you ever played this game? I say a word, and you say the first three words or things that come to mind. No hesitation, editing, or thinking allowed. Just blurt the first three words out.
Here we go:
My guess is most of you think along the lines of turkey, football, family. Not necessarily in that order, but that's probably what came up. Maybe some of you thought Pilgrims or no school or cranberry sauce... you get the idea.
Usually, though, the word "thanksgiving" does bring up the topic of thankfulness... after food and family and friends and football and school plays and history class. There's nothing wrong with those things; I just find that I personally prefer to celebrate Thanksgiving during the rest of the year, too. (Minus the turkeys and colored-paper Indian feathers.) I call it Thanksgiving of the Heart.
This isn't a rigid schedule or an absolutely-must-do-this-daily thing, but every day I think of something I'm thankful for. I don't make lists or write a thank-you note to God or someone who has touched my life, and after several weeks of this I don't even have to try. It will just hit me. I'll be texting or talking to someone and suddenly think, "I'm thankful for you - for our relationship." I could be just waking up on a Saturday morning, lying in bed still sleepy, and think "I'm thankful for a non-leaky roof" or "I'm thankful for my own room." Then, sometimes, I start really thinking about that. You know how many families around the world have a dozen or so people living in a mud hut the size of my bedroom? And I get it all to myself! You know how many people - how many kids, too! - live off of a single cup of rice a day? Not just a cup per meal - no, a cup per day! And I have about thirty choices in the cupboard at snack time alone.
It's moments like those that I consider my Thanksgiving. The actual holiday may revolve around Macy's parade, family football games, and a giant turkey, but when the decorations come down and the Christmas preparations are in full swing, I tend to find myself more thankful when I'm not trying too hard.
What has happened upon your life that you value? That you could say you're thankful for?