Monday, November 7, 2011

Giving Thanks

Holidays are pieces of time we designate for particular purposes -- anticipation, preparation, celebration, etc.  Halloween is one of those. Thanksgiving is another. Christmas is a third. It is becoming difficult to focus on the one at hand because our surroundings keep pushing us to look beyond too soon -- especially the stores. For the record, eggnog is NOT a Halloween beverage. And it is disturbing to hear Christmas music while walking by aisles of zombie costumes.

There is a lot about these mixed-up seasonal messages that I do not like, but one good thing is that it has triggered me to be much more intentional about focusing on the season at hand, being in this moment with this purpose rather than always looking far ahead. Practicing this discipline has been healthy in so many ways.

Thanksgiving is coming up. A tradition in my family is to sit together for a short time after dinner and express gratitude. Each person drops an unpopped popcorn kernel into a jar for each thing on his or her list. Popcorn kernels are small -- our gratitude need not be only for the "big" things -- and they add up.

I've been trying to practice that kind of thing in these weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day, intending for November 24 to be a natural product of a season of intentional gratitude.

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