Thanksgiving And Black Friday
It’s Thanksgiving week, which means most of us are making plans for hosting a big dinner, having guests over, traveling to see family, or a combination of those. Some of us will be opening the newspaper, or your email inbox, to look at all the Black Friday deals and making plans to head out and brave the crowds of people looking to buy up YOUR deals. As for me, I will be going to my folk’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Then on Friday I’ll take my two little girls back over and I’ll help my mother get her decorations out, while my wife goes out to check out a few deals with our University Freshman daughter.
As a writer I try to look at topics from a different angle, with Thanksgiving coming and with most of us celebrating Christmas or Hanukah by giving of our time, our fortune, or both, I wanted to explore a different thought.
Thanksgiving is the day we stop to give thanks for what we have, and how we have been blessed. It started with the early settlers in The New World, giving thanks to the native people who helped them learn how to survive in this new land. It hasn’t always been a National Holiday, and it has moved around over the years, and some early Presidents didn’t even recognize it. It has typically had a connection to religion and thanking the Heavenly Father, God, Yahweh, for the blessings we have received in the year. However, most everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, even if they don’t have a religious background, and they mainly focus on giving thanks to the blessings of family of friends, and what this great country provides for them.
Christmas is about giving gifts to each other which is supposed to mirror the giving of gifts to a baby by a few wise men, about 2,000 years ago. This baby was to be Jesus, or Yeshua (his Hebrew name), and he would be the Messiah that would come and eventually die or all mankind’s sins. It is commonly believed that the actual time of year for His birth was in late September or October during the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. This two has been changed over the years, but that’s another story for another time. This giving of gifts during Christmas, is simply a reminder of the greatest gift of all.
Hanukah is a mostly Jewish holiday but other religious groups (Hebrew Roots for one) will also celebrate this season. Hanukah is a little different kind of holiday. It is celebrating the re-dedication of the second temple and a second event that happened at the same time of year with Judah Maccabee. For more information on Hanukah check out Wikipedia’s page here. Since most Jews do not celebrate Christmas, they will in turn use Hanukah as a time to give gifts in celebration of their religious history and the miracles that were a part of it.
But let’s talk about taking.
And of course, I don’t mean taking in the sense of stealing.
Take A Moment.
Take a moment for yourself. Spend some time alone or doing a craft that you enjoy. Start a hobby, or maybe you need to finish a hobby project. Whatever the case, carve out some special time just for yourself. Go see a movie, personally, I am planning on going to see Midway since I love World War Two stories and movies. I am also planning on watching the last Star Wars movie, again, another story for later.
Take a moment for your spouse. If you are not married but have a partner, fiancée or fiancé, or boyfriend or girlfriend this would also apply, but if you are single this one clearly would not apply to you. Yes, you really should be doing this everyday and at least once a week, but life does sometimes get in the way and we get busy and distracted. So, take this time to make a point of taking time just for that one special person. Have a date night, check off a honey-do-list item or more, guys, watch a Hallmark or Lifetime movie with your girl. I’m adding some shelves in our pantry and fixing our stairs.
Take a moment for each of your kids. Again, if you don’t have any, don’t go steal any just to check this one off. We as parents are always around our kids, but I know for me, I sometimes forget to stop and truly focus on each one of them and have that one on one time with each one. Remember each of our kids is different and they like different things, so we need to do the thing that they want. The thing that is meaningful to them.
Take a moment for each of your grandkids. If you are like me and don’t have them, skip this, but make sure you can give the kids time and space for them to spend with grandma and grandpa. If you are lucky enough to have grandkids, it doesn’t take much for you to make an impact on them. Listen to their story, talk to them about the picture they just drew. If you can, get on the floor with them and play with a toy with them.
Take a friend to coffee, or in the case of my friend the mayor of our town Kyle, an umbrella drink. Where would your life be without friends? Take a lunch break to meet with a friend and ask them how they are doing. Then sit and just listen, maybe ask a few questions to understand more about their job, or their hobby. Maybe they are struggling with something in their life and just need someone to talk to. And maybe, you both just need a few minutes of reminiscing the old days.
Take time to love, take a compliment, take a gift that is given to you. We don’t always do these things that well. Use this year to practice a little bit.
Take the blessing you have been given that you get to live in this country.
While giving is better than receiving,
I am not promoting taking over giving.
Give And Take.
I want to encourage more giving. My point here is this, giving is focusing on someone else before yourself. Taking is more about yourself, some might say even selfish. What I am proposing to you, and myself, is this. Taking is not always selfish. Before we can really help others, we need to be in the place to provide that help, and the only way to make sure we are, is to first take care of ourselves. Give and take are counterbalances, if we have too much of one, we will fall and injure ourselves. So, take care of yourself, and stay in balance.
Take these next four holidays (Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s) to enjoy your friends and family. Take these next four holidays to think of who you are and who might still by trying to be. And take these next four holidays to bless someone else. And celebrate Thanks-taking.
© 2019 Aaron L Huddart