Thanksgiving may be the best American holiday as there’s so little baggage attached to the celebration. It’s free from religious or political dispute and we don’t have to worry about emptying our bank account for gifts.
Thanksgiving is also a time to be together. According to trade organization Airlines for America, around 25 million Americans will be flying the friendly skies in the period from November 21 to December 2, 2014, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year. Thanksgiving allows us the opportunity to mend broken relationships and settle age old disputes between friends and families.
At some point in the midst of the travel, the cooking, and the football, we will get around to thinking about what we are thankful for. Many of us are thankful for our relative wealth compared to our neighbors across the globe. Forbes Magazine reports that “the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.” Yet, we know many neighbors who are struggling this time of year – it would be good to devote some of our time planning how we can support those families.
Yet, perhaps the best gift of Thanksgiving is that it gives us an opportunity to reflect on our personal attitude of gratitude. While we reserve the New Year for unique resolutions on individual improvement, let’s retain the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to build thankful habits that will last long after the last turkey legs are polished off. Growing that positive mindset, no matter our circumstances, is a gift that not only feeds our own soul, but impacts everyone we touch.
I continue to be thankful to work in my community and to have given service for thirty years to a profession that is more of a ministry than a job. Happy Thanksgiving all.