It’s tough to cram five days of work into three, but that’s what most of us do in order to have a nice four day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I am bushed. On my way home today, (which since daylight savings time change feels like bedtime) I stopped by Winn Dixie to grab a few last minute items I will need to complete the dishes I will be taking for the Thanksgiving meal. I was not the only one who had to make a last minute run to the store. There was a line at every register, but no one was complaining or impatient. The holiday season seems to bring out the best in people.
The holiday season can be hard for some folks. My pastor said this last weekend that while people hurt all year long, they just feel it more during the holidays. I tend to agree with that. Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one feel that loss more this time of year. Those who have broken relationships feel that pain of separation more. Those with serious illness fear this holiday season might be their last. The unemployed face trying to make a bright Christmas on an inadequate budget. The list of hurts and wounds goes on.
So as I stood in line at the grocery store on the eve of Thanksgiving, I looked at my fellow shoppers. I wondered what hurts they might be facing this season. I watched as the cashiers feverishly tried to get everyone through the lines as quickly as they could, and thought of how hard it must be to make a living as a cashier.
And I thought of all I have to be thankful for this year. Oh so much. Big things like family and friends. I am so thankful that my dad has fully recovered from what seemed like a stroke. I am thankful for the jobs my husband and I have. I am thankful that those I love are healthy and happy. I am most happy that my four kids love God with a passion I did not know at their ages. Little things also come to mind, like three pet cats that greet me at the door every day. And like Coke. I just love Coke. Even Coke in the white save-the-polar-bears cans. (I’m okay with saving the polar bears) I’m thankful for front porch swings and fuzzy pajamas. For great music and m&m’s. Lots and lots of little things that bless my every day.
I am most thankful for the One who gives me reason to be grateful. The Bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of heavenly lights, in whom there is no shifting of shadows. (James 1:17) All these things I am thankful for, both large and small, come to me only because of His great love. Even those hard things. Things that I might not list as things I am particularly thankful for, come from His loving hand to bless me.
I am so blessed, and so are you. We are blessed to be a blessing. God loves to touch folks through us. This holiday season, think of ways you can bless those around you. Holidays can be hard. Someone needs that kindness you can give. Buy someone a cup of coffee. Pay for the person behind you in the drive through. Our church gives us these little cards that say “Just a little something extra to let you know God loves you.” So when we do something for someone during the holiday season, we can slip them that card and point them to the One who is really blessing them.
You don’t have to go to my church to get in on the fun. Make your own cards and start blessing people. And do it anonymously. It’s fun, and it just might make someone’s day. Rake your neighbor’s yard this weekend while they’re out of town. Leave the note. Leave your waitress a huge tip. Leave the note. Get creative. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money, give what you can. Trust God with the outcome. I’ll bet you smile all day about it.