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What does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

Updated on February 4, 2017

What is your favorite holiday...

I guess if I were to ask, “What is your favorite holiday” your answer might be, ‘Christmas’, ‘New Year’s’, ‘Halloween’ or as one friend always says ‘July 4th’ , because it’s celebrated during the summertime when it’s warmer. These are typical answers and probably 90 – 95% of the populous would likewise answer. All holidays are special and have individual meaning to each of us I’m sure, but we still have individual favorites. I know that even a few friends of mine would say ‘Thanksgiving’, which is also my favorite holiday and each time I say that I invariably get empty or blank stares in response to my statement. One little neighbor child responded “You don’t even get anything for Thanksgiving…” and I chuckled and replied, “maybe not a present like you do at Christmas time’, however, I feel I do receive something during the Thanksgiving season it just not tangible in nature.

Horn of Plenty
Horn of Plenty

Giving vs Receiving

For the last month or so my church has been collecting food for the families of small children at our local elementary school. When it was discovered that some of the small kid’s families were experiencing exceptional economic hardships this year many of the local congregations banded together to help provide food, supplies and some clothing for those needy families. At the same time many churches and organizations are collecting ‘shoeboxes’ filled with toys and personal hygiene articles that will also be distributed at Christmas time to children all around the world known as Operation Christmas Child, headquartered in nearby Boone North Carolina and is a part of Franklin Grahams’ larger ministry known internationally as Samaritan’s Purse. Right after Thanksgiving and during that next weekend a trainload of goodies will travel through the coal fields of Kentucky and southwestern Virginia ending in Kingsport Tennessee known as the Santa Train and has been making this trip around this time of year for the last sixty-nine years. It is also known as the world’s longest Santa parade.

The joy of giving...

You may have also noticed the familiar ‘ tinkling bell’ of the Salvation Army stationed outside shops and businesses or maybe inside the local malls. The shaking of that small bell and the traditional ‘kettle’ set up to collect funds to be used for food and clothing for the needy who also will experience a Christmas this year with their families. Oh, years ago when I was a child I did look forward to Christmases in anticipation of toys and gifts. It was always about ‘me’ then, when I was a child and what was ‘I’ going to receive, but my whole outlook has changed since I became a man. I still enjoy receiving gifts, but the true joy is in watching the faces of the children and even the adults when you hand them something and they receive it with love and a smile that seems to say “thanks for understanding,” or “thank you for helping me provide Christmas for my family this year.”

I recall my mom used to always quote a little scripture right outa’ the Good Book – “It’s more blessed to give than receive” and now I know what that means. Thanks mom

© 2011 SamSonS


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  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 4 years ago from Tennessee

    When I first started writing here I failed to realize that the whole world would witness my meager offerings. Thanksgiving is an American holiday where we celebrate gratitude for Divine inspiration and hope in starting a new country and way of life free from tyranny. I understand that now other countries celebrate a form of Thanksgiving also...

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    I never experienced thanksgiving but it sounds wonderful

  • cebutouristspot profile image

    cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

    Nice piece samsons1 but to answer your question Thanksgiving for me is giving thanks to all the blessing I have receive and remembering people who help mold me to what I am today.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 5 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Brett, always good to hear from you and I notice you are doing well here at HP. Thanks for the added exposure and your vote is always appreciated...

  • Brett.Tesol profile image

    Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

    A very nice article. It is definitely a wonderful feeling to give and feel that you have made someones' life a little better!

    SOCIALLY SHARED and of course, voted up and awesome ... as if everyone gave a little more, there would be far less misery in the world.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    Thank you so much calico Stark for your visit and for taking the time to read my hub, "What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?" Welcome to HubPages and also thanks for the follow...

  • calico Stark profile image

    calico Stark 6 years ago from Earth for the time being

    Thanks for the heartwarming article! I lived outside of the Kingsport area and it is definitely a place of the poor and needy! They need others to take notice and bless the community as well!

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much Lady_E for your visit and your nice comments...

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

    Lovely Hub and I smiled reading that little childs comment about Thanksgiving.

    Giving is a wonderful feeling. Also, as you noted - the look on people's faces as they receive what they never expected - Priceless!!

    Have a wonderful Xmas and as you give, may God water you more so you can be a channel of Blessing.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much heart4theword, for stopping by and commenting. I agree completely with what you had to share.


  • heart4theword profile image

    heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

    We do have much to be thankful for! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times, to spend with family and friends...enjoying a home-cooked meal:) There is just something about sitting at the table over a good meal, and having a nice conversation. Food for the soul and the body:)

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks so much sunkentreasure for your visit and your most interesting response.


  • sunkentreasure profile image



    In the heart of every baby

    you’ll find the beautiful love of God

    In the sparkle of every shining star

    is the brilliance of God’s genius

    In every drop of precious water

    is the immeasurable kindness of God

    When you touch the texture of a leaf

    you feel the gentleness of God

    It’s a wonderful privilege

    to love God and say thank you

    There’s a very special feeling you get inside

    when you care for and look after God’s creation

    It’s so rich and so meaningful

    to be living each day to please God

    Giving God gratitude

    brings more miracles

    into your life.

    © Bernard Levine

  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    Samsons1: Oooooooops, As a Canadian my Thanksgiving was back in October but do enjoy yours and God bless.

  • samsons1 profile image

    Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

    thank you so much my brother for being first again to respond. I always appreciate your 'slant' and I of course agree. Here's wishing you a most glorious Thanksgiving in Him.


  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    The very word Thanksgiving speaks for itself. It is one special day of the year where we remember our good fortune and give thanks for it.

    Personally I feel that every day should be "Thanksgiving Day", for we have daily to be thankful to our creator and provider, even if it is just for the fact that we are sucking air above ground. But that's just my opinion for what it's worth.