What’s The Big Deal with Thanksgiving?

Aaron P. Graft

November 19, 2012

I suppose everybody deals with the holiday season in their own ways. My mom, for example, declared Thanksgiving was her Holiday. We were free to spend all of the other holidays wherever we wanted (not really, that was the premise), but we had all better show up at her house for Thanksgiving. There were multiple reasons:

  1. My mom and dad were engaged on Thanksgiving,
  2. She was the best cook (another premise) and the focus of Thanksgiving was, after all, on the meal, and
  3. We had holiday-appropriate family connections—notably, my Uncle David who worked for Macy’s and was a parade marshal. In short, being there for Thanksgiving was a blessing and abstaining would be a self-inflicted curse.

“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life, and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.” – Tecumseh Shawnee Chief

So, why is there a blessing that comes with giving thanks, and also this self-inflicted wound for not making the effort? And why, particularly during these trying times, are some people thankful, while others choose to embrace their bitterness?

The Bible (Luke 17:11-19) describes the consequences of ten men with leprosy who were healed by Jesus. Only one of them, a Samaritan, was moved to give thanks. “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’”

There is power in a gift. The power in giving thanks is realizing that we are part of something much greater than ourselves, our abilities, our intellectual or emotional capacities. It rescues us from the despair and disappointment of all of our limitations. It gives us hope. It feeds us.

So with my mom’s holiday rapidly approaching, I invite you to join me in Thanksgiving. We give thanks for living in this incredible country and the great state of Texas. We give thanks to all of our clients and business partners, even the ones who pay slowly. We give thanks for getting to work with the best people in the universe and a company that acknowledges a power greater than itself.

Thanksgiving. I’m cooking.