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Take time to think thankful thoughts

Holidays can be full of rushing and stress.

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Holidays can be full of rushing and stress. The house is unnaturally full, the kitchen just keeps getting hotter, Aunt Lily is bound to complain and we’re just sure little Janie should be followed around by a vacuum cleaner.

But, we really don’t have it so hard.

When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they had no idea what hardships they would face in this strange, new land.

When the Native American Indians first encountered the pilgrims, they had no way of knowing what devastation the presence of this new race of people would eventually mean for their way of life.

But, they were able, if only for a brief time, to set aside their differences long enough to help each other, teach each other and learn and grow with each other.

And, when all the hard work was done, they celebrated with a grand feast. The table was laden with more than just an appetizing array of food and drink, however.

When the two cultures came together at that first Thanksgiving table, they did something we have been unable to truly do for generations.

They shed their fears, their barriers and their differences and shared.

We would do well to remember that.

Although we celebrate in honor of that first Thanksgiving each November, more often than not, it is the thought of piping hot turkey and grandma’s pumpkin pie that we eagerly anticipate every year instead of giving thanks for all that we have.

This year, as we sit at our tables ready to fill our plates, maybe we should first remember to fill our hearts.

Look around the table.

Each person there is seated at that table because they mean something to us.

Each empty chair was once occupied by someone who has left behind memories we will treasure for years to come.

We should try to remember that when Aunt Lily comments that the turkey is a little dry or when little Janie spills cranberry sauce on the new carpet.

Although we can sometimes become so wrapped up in simply putting the meal on the table and getting it eaten that the focus on why we’re there in the first place is forgotten.

We are there to give thanks for all that we have, most especially that which is intangible.

Let us give thanks for our families – for the memories we hold dear, the memories we share and the memories we are creating today.

There is nothing quite like the love of a family. And that is truly something to be thankful for.