Don’t Give Thanks on Thanksgiving!

In a way, it’s unfortunate that Thanksgiving is an official holiday.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the turkey feast with all the trimmings, love the excuse to gather family and friends, love telling my daughters about that first Thanksgiving at Plymouth in 1621 when the English settlers thanked the Native Americans for helping them produce a successful harvest.

But sometimes I think that the act of proclaiming an Official Holiday has the unintended consequence of trivializing the very thing we’re supposed to be celebrating. When we set aside one day in honor of something, most people — because we’re lazy and selfish and busy — tend to feel like we’re off the hook for the other 364 days of the year.

Of course there’s value in holidays, in celebrations. But have you ever thought, for instance, that Valentine’s Day is a little strange? Aren’t we supposed to show love to those we love every day? Why set aside February 14 for that specific purpose? I feel the same way about Mother’s Day. I even wonder whether the birth of Jesus would feel closer to us all year long if we didn’t confine it to December 25.

I suspect the same thing about Thanksgiving.

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