November 16

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude to God, our Creator and Provider, whose guidance and care go before us, and whose love is with us forever. 

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the changes, to remember that we, too, grow and change from one season of life to another. 

Thanksgiving is a time of changing seasons, when leaves turn golden in autumn’s wake and apples are crisp in the first chill breezes of fall.

 Let us remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

 As we see the beauty of autumn, let us acknowledge the many blessings which are ours, let us think of our families and friends, and let us give thanks in our hearts.- Author Unknown

It may be challenging for us, this year, to truly embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving. With so many challenges behind us and still more ahead perhaps none of us is feeling as thankful as we would normally feel. For the fourth Thursday in November is a date when we’d gather with extended family, see friends from across the miles and sit together, way closer than six feet and celebrate- as one year draws closer to and end and another looms on the horizon. 

There’d be talk of Christmas gifts, holiday gatherings, midnight mass plans, and for our youngest family members the thrill of knowing that Santa’s time is once again at last at hand…these are the feelings that Thanksgiving envokes—truly the “advent” of the joyful holiday season.

How then, do we find joy this year, amid our frustrations, fears and sorrows?  For those of us who lost someone, Thanksgiving will be missing something this year. For those of us who have not seen family in months and months, our tables will feel empty no matter how much we can embrace “virtual” gatherings.  For those of us who had travel plans, celebratory plans, or even Black Friday shopping plans, those may not come to full fruition this year.  Thanksgiving is almost upon us and it is up to each of us to find a way to capture the joy of the season and keep it with us until we can ring in 2021. 

I have no firm solution as to how to make this holiday full of joy…but here’s one thing I do know.  Like so many other things this year, it will be memorable. This will be the Thanksgiving you’ll remember the rest of your lives—the one you’ll tell your grandkids about and your children will tell their grandkids about someday. It may very well be the most memorable Thanksgiving since the very first one; because it will be so different from what we’ve come to know. 

So, capture the memories, celebrate live with those whom you can and virtually with those who cannot join you this year. Embrace the love of family and friends; in person or through a screen. And as Thanksgiving night draws to a close, take a photo or two—save them forever. 2020 has the potential to be the Thanksgiving you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

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