Friday, November 1, 2013


Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I love Christmas. I love the music, the movies, the decorations, Santa, the traditions and the trees. I love that for many people it is still about the birth of the babe of Bethlehem and what that means in each of our lives. I even love shopping on Christmas Eve, one of my grand traditions! I love the Christmas season. But I have to tell you,  what "Christmas" has become in our USAmerican society is really starting to make me a little crazy. Christmas and I have a's killing Thanksgiving!

Maybe it is the faulty memory of an aging man, but it seems to me like Thanksgiving used to be an actual holiday, one we could enjoy and savor as families. But increasingly it is become the red-headed stepchild to Christmas.  Stores have their Christmas displays out before Halloween is over. The TV commercials have already started. A house in my neighborhood already has a frickin' wreath on the door! Thanksgiving used to be the kickoff to the Christmas season. Now it is just a blip on the radar as we scream full speed ahead towards December. It's Black Friday: The Prequel. And I think it's time to do something about it.

I suppose it would help if there were more cultural landmarks associated with the holiday. Eating, The Macy's Parade and football in Dallas and Detroit (plus some other random city from the "can't leave well enough alone" minds of the NFL) are the first things that come to most people's minds. There are few Thanksgiving movies (Planes, Trains & Automobiles is the only GREAT one, although my son Will recommends The Hoboken Chicken Emergency!), no one sings Thanksgiving carols, and even Hallmark doesn't really push the holiday. A couple of years ago I wrote down a few suggestions on how to change all of that (see The Holiday That Time Forgot) but I don't see it happening anytime soon. 

The bigger issue to me is that with all of the attention given to the "Holiday Season," Thanksgiving has lost its meaning.  People fight all the time to keep the "Christ" in Christmas. I am fighting to put the "thanks" back in Thanksgiving!  When the pilgrims and Native Americans sat down at that first feast, they weren't there to kill time before the Cowboys played the 4 o'clock game or Walmart opened with two big screen TVs on sale for 10,000 shoppers to fight over. They were there to give thanks to God for the simple reason that they were still alive! They could have starved, frozen, been killed by wild animals or killed each other- but they hadn't. They sat down to share in a bounty provided by God and to praise Him for all the many things they had to be thankful for in life. They gathered as family and friends to count their many blessings. It was from those beginnings that the Thanksgiving holiday was born. And it is by returning to those roots that we can #SaveThanksgiving.

Every day in November (through the 28th) I will be sharing something I am thankful for in the upper left-hand corner of this blog. You can see I have started today. I will also be tweeting my blessings using the hashtag #SaveThanksgiving. I am asking Marilyn to do the same on Facebook. And I am asking all of you to join us.  Share with the world through social media the things in your life that you need to thank our loving God for providing. Let's remind our friends of WHY we have a Thanksgiving holiday. And if you are not the hashtag type, then share with your family and friends around the dinner table or in the car on the way to school, work, dance lessons or wherever you may be headed.  The point is that we GIVE THANKS

So by all means, look forward to the turturkeykey (a shout out to all the HIMYM viewers) and the trimmings. Remember the Mayflower and the history of the day.  Make an elaborate styrofoam cornucopia for your table centerpiece. Boycott shopping on Thanksgiving Day and by all means take the day to be with your family and friends.  But all along the way, remember the reason for the season (stole that one from Christmas- HA!). "Count your many blessings- name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done!" If we do that, my friends, we just might accomplish something heroic. We just might #SaveThanksgiving.

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous11/01/2013

    I am with you, CJ! Let's #SaveThanksgiving! ~ Chris Cooper

  2. Anonymous11/01/2013

    I love it! My family calls me a scrooge because I make them wait until after Thanksgiving to put the tree up! Let's save Thanksgiving. Jennifer Jones

    1. That's awesome, Jennifer! And I know you...your family would never mess with mama on something like that!

  3. I couldn't agree more! I love Thanksgiving! All that food and laying around and being a bum all day and NO GIFT STRESS! Gifts are definitely not my Love Language and I'm pretty sure my entire family will be receiving gift cards this year because after having a baby the last thing I want to wrack my brain about is what to get all these people! #SaveThanksgiving!

    1. Bob, you are giving the extended family a new baby- what ELSE do they want from you? Talk about something to thankful for!

  4. Preach it friend! All hail the turkey! :)


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