Don't Forget About Thanksgiving
Have you noticed the Christmas season seems to have already arrived? In the stores and neighborhoods, Christmas decorations have taken over. What’s become of Thanksgiving? Wrapped up in eating and football, Thanksgiving seems to have become merely a placeholder between Halloween and Christmas. The commercial holiday spirit of Christmas hangs over the last week of November.
Even in 1973's A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Sally says “I went down to buy a turkey tree and all they have are things for Christmas.”
However, Thanksgiving is considered one of the most important American holidays. It's a time when families can reunite, express gratitude, and feel closer to one another. When Thanksgiving first became a national holiday in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called it “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens...The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.”
Lincoln knew that we sometimes forget to give thanks for the blessings we have received from God. Our faith calls us to be grateful every day and give thanks to God constantly. The source and summit of our faith, the Eucharist, points us to living a thanksgiving way of life. The Greek word “eucharisteo” means “to give thanks.” The Catechism states that the Eucharist “is an act of thanksgiving to God” (No. 1329). The entire Mass is a prayer of thanksgiving. The Eucharist is the Thanksgiving meal to top all meals.
How can your Church of the Home grow in gratitude beyond this Thursday's holiday?
How can you make Thanksgiving more than turkey, football, and sales?
5 Ways to Celebrate A Thankful Thanksgiving
Tips to slow down and be grateful
Actually give thanks Take time before the meal to go around the table and think of something you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be overtly religious — just a simple time for reflection about the things you were lucky enough to receive.
Help out Many families celebrate Thanksgiving like the movie Groundhog Day, with the same family members doing the same things every year. If you aren’t normally one of the people who helps prepare the meal and set the table, peel yourself away from football and start peeling potatoes.
Look around The greatest cause of stress and joy for many in life is family and friends. Often, Thanksgiving brings together people who haven’t been in each other’s company for months or even years. When you are all together, take time to look around and soak in everyone’s collective aura. The old cliché that life is too short is absolutely true. Anything can happen between this turkey day and the next. It may be fun to gossip about how a friend looks or lay scorn on a relative you don’t like, but in the end it isn’t worth it. All you have to do is simply be aware of everyone’s presence and think about your own place in the family. Do not take your time with anyone for granted or assume it’s never-ending. Holidays are chances to forge good memories; don’t waste the opportunity.
Play a game One of the great joys in life is playing a game. I know many friends who gather around Thanksgiving to play tackle football or go out for karaoke. Maybe it is time for you to start a fun new Thanksgiving tradition. If you are blessed with some time off, couple that with the fact that friends and family are around and plan a really fun event. You could run a Turkey Trot 5K or simply invite old friends over to watch a movie. Take advantage of the time to reconnect and swap fond memories; catching a touchdown pass is an added bonus.
Help Meal programs and food pantries are packed to the gills on Thanksgiving with well-intentioned people looking to help. While this is certainly admirable, consider other things you can do. In this economy, many charitable organizations are scrambling for donations or food supplies that can last them through times when people aren’t as well-intentioned. Why not organize a food drive or donate money with your friends and family?
Join us for Mass this weekend in person
at 4:00 PM on Saturday, 8:30 or 10:30 AM on Sunday, on www.gbres.org/live, our YouTube channel, and our Facebook page.
READINGS FOR THIS WEEKEND’S MASSES
VIRTUALLY SUNDAY REFLECTION
Where do you but your faith? In fear or in love? Throughout our lifetime, we are presented with the opportunity to choose between focusing on the negative that could happen or the positive that could flow through us. Join Steve as he reflects on this weekend's scriptures.
This Weekend's Bulletin
(click to read)
The Parish Lyceum will feature a variety of topics, guidelines, and relevant information to nurture the PIESS of our lives – physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social.
Eucharistic Moments of Grace: A Townhall Dialogue
Fr. Tom and Tony discuss the Eucharistic Moments of Grace with Deacon Bob Hornacek, Assistant Executive Director of Paul's Pantry in Green Bay.
Recent Loss in Our Parish Family
Ruby and Res
Have paddle, will travel....
Who wants to be Ruby's pickleball partner?