The Gift You Can’t Buy

My sister-in-law has chosen to put her Christmas things out. The tree stands in the window, twinkling, and her breakfast bar is all snowy-white, adorned by a Christmas Village. She can’t help it. We give her a bad time for it, too; it’s all part of sisterly love. She’s like a child who can’t wait to tear open the gifts of Christmas and sneaks down the stairs to open them early. I’m working on tearing open the gifts of Thanksgiving. We sort of forget that holiday every month.

Someone told me at Starbucks that Thanksgiving is the gift that doesn’t ask for anything in return. It gives and blesses. It’s the one time of year where we don’t offer anything tangible to each other except love. Perhaps that’s why it distresses me to see it overlooked. After Halloween stuff is taken down, Christmas items line the shelves at the stores. Hallmark offers Christmas movies. ABC Family has the same things and I wonder what happened to Thanksgiving.

On a more cynical note, maybe it’s because we live in a selfish society and Christmas means gifts—tangible gifts that we can hold, appreciate, and grow tired of later. We celebrate Santa Claus instead of Jesus Christ; or perhaps we ignore Santa Claus and think those that do not are not practicing Christianity the way it ought. Christmas becomes a war between believers; between believers and non-believers. Thanksgiving sits there quietly and serves.

It’s a table decked out once a year with more food than a family could devour and shadowed by memories both good and bad. I like to theme my meals in November to go with the Thanksgiving theme and I try to do the same with my attitude. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, my husband and I try to have a Thanksgiving meal together at home. I like to open the gifts of Thanksgiving all month. These gifts cannot be unwrapped, held or returned the day after, but a kind of gift that settles into my heart, growing me into how God wants me to grow, and introduces Christmas on a more gentle note when winter has settled in and the fall leaves are gone. Snow flakes drift from the perfect night sky and settle on my nose. That’s Thanksgiving—a gift you can’t buy. An experience that outlasts the food.

What is your Thanksgiving like? How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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12 thoughts on “The Gift You Can’t Buy”

    1. They don’t really skip, but it tends to be overlooked quite often, celebrated once during the month. More people would probably skip if there was no football. It’s all so commercialized anymore and you’re right, Thanksgiving has no commercial value and is all about giving.

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  1. i feel like i have been scolded… i have the decorations up because yes, i can’t wait to celebrate christmas. and i want to enjoy the decorations longer, that take so long to put up.I also do love thanksgiving as this is when we all gather around at my sisters house and have a great time together. I do know what christmas is all about. it is not about santa and gifts. it is about the birthday of Christ, and giving back. this is why this year we are giving to our kids less and going to purchase gift cards for food places and stuff and when we see someone in need all year or a homeless person we are going to help them out. Hopefully are kids will learn from this and pass it on to there kids as a new tradition.

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  2. Thanksgiving has always been one of my most favorite holidays and it IS the most overlooked especially in our consumer-driven society. Thanksgiving means warmth, love, and home to me with much emphasis on the thankfulness for the gifts we receive from God each day in this life. We always celebrate it at our home with as many of our loved ones as can muster (we have a small family and many of our relatives don’t live near us), which sometimes means just hubby, our three adult children, and me.

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  3. Matt has to work overnights, so he is scheduled to work that night, so he has to sleep during the day. It will just be another day off work for me. I plan on making us a turkey on his day off on Saturday though.

    Matt working overnight — Black Friday—- oh my what a mess at Walmart, he will be exhausted.

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  4. I never thought of it that way Nikole, but you are right. Maybe that is why Thanksgiving has always been my fav holiday–even though society is trying to replace it as just “the day before Black Friday.”

    We celebrate at home with just the kids.

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