Thanksgiving for me, is the kickoff into my favorite time of year, the Advent and Christmas season. I love everything about it. I'm not one of those people who observes Black Friday with a list and an obsession to acquire everything on it. I love the hustle and bustle, the decorations, the music, seeing the best in people peeking out behind their day to day facades ... groups of strangers getting together to sing their way through Handel's Mesiah ... but I miss my father. In the fullness of time he was snatched from this life into the next, which was best for him. Selfishly, I wish he could have stayed with me. He loved Christmas. He loved sending things unexpectedly to unsuspecting folks ... he wore his stocking cap and bundled up to sing carols on the street corner with the Salvation Army team ... he was a "bell ringer" every year for nearly twenty five years. He drove me nuts at times, yet I miss him more than I can say.
Having to part with something he gave me wrenches my heart. He took such interest in things I made, was my biggest fan. He thought I was an "expert" and bragged about me to many. I would tell him I'm anything BUT an expert, but in his eyes ... well, you get the picture.
I see him in the faces of people he knew and came to love here in this little town. You know who you are. I know he made a difference to a little boy, one who has grown into a young man. I see him in the house, I hear him as I drive through town looking at the decorations, he's always with me even if I can't reach out and touch him. I'm thankful he wanted to rescue an orange cat one winter ... somehow it's as though that cat is a link between us.
As I prepare for the holidays, I look around me for pieces of myself I can give to others. It's not about the stores, or the shopping, or the lists, or the commercials ... I think about the carols that talk about the gifts given from the heart, not bought in stores. "I, said the donkey, all shaggy and brown ..." or the Little Drummer Boy who "played his best for Him, rumpapum pum ..."
A little opossum came to my feeding area tonight, and dined on table scraps and other goodies. The squirrels got walnuts for Thanksgiving. The birds got granola and other delights. I can't fix the world, but I can see to it that the lives of those who live in my little woods are made better somehow ... I think it's what Daddy, and my Heavenly Father would have wanted me to do.
For what are you thankful? the thorns as well as the roses? What will you give for presents this year, something you've bought or something that is a part of you? Will your gifts be humble and from the heart? Just some things to ponder ... and if my words helped you, then for that I am also thankful.