Happy Thanksgiving!

You ask why I’m saying “Happy Thanksgiving” when you’re super busy getting ready for Christmas. We passed that holiday a few weeks ago. Yes, I was Christmas shopping this morning and have been very busy getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m going caroling to a nursing home in a few days, got Christmas cards in the mail today from friends and haven’t yet gotten around to addressing and mailing theirs. I fully know what you mean about being in the middle of a busy season.

Again, I say “Happy Thanksgiving!” Why? Because celebrating the birth of Jesus brings thankfulness to all who know Him. Many other reasons also bring thanks this season like communicating with loved ones and friends, even if we’re not able to visit in person; family reunions; Christmas programs; special Christmas music and singing the old familiar carols as well as the fun tunes for this season. People in my area had a special reason for thankfulness this year because we had snow! When you live in south Texas, that’s a rare occurrence and it didn’t stick to the roads, which were still warm, and make driving difficult. Many friends shared pictures of their homes decked out in snow on Facebook. My family shared snow pictures with each other, except for the one family who didn’t get any and two of us live further south than they do.

Amid problems we still find reasons for gratitude because the Holy Spirit lives inside us and guides us daily, if we seek and listen to Him. We live in a free country that, imperfect as it is, remains a great place to call home. We have houses to live in and food on our tables. If our health isn’t as good as we’d like, we do all we can to make it as good as possible.

Speaking of problems, being thankful gives us encouragement and puts cheer in our hearts. When we only talk of undesirable issues, we lower ourselves to the pit of depression and make reality seem worse than it might be. Thankfulness keeps us from that pit and even makes others want to be around us. Gratitude tells God that we appreciate what we have and can therefore handle more. Gratitude brings us joy, which comes from the Lord and is one of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!