Nothing whets your appetite like someone sitting down beside you with a slice of millionaire pie. For many years, that pie was a staple at my family holiday gatherings. Of course, we still get together with or without the pie and this past Thanksgiving was no exception.
The holidays have become more meaningful to me as I grow older and more reflective. I think of how blessed I am to have had my mother’s love and support for these 50 plus years and then my hearts grieves for those who will spend their first holiday season without the presence of their mother, grandmother, or another loved one. I am so thankful for my children whom I get to see nearly every holiday with, yet I am still mindful of those who are not so fortunate.
For me, the real beauty of genuine gratefulness rests in the apostle Paul’s Philippians 4:11 revelation. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Of course, this thankful contentment did not come as easily in my younger years as it does in my more “mature” season of life. Nevertheless, gratitude and thankfulness are now daily things for me. Especially during the holiday season.
And, they can be for you too.
Again, I know that the holidays can be challenging times for some, but maybe a different perspective can help. There is a commercial for St. Jude’s Research Hospital that admonishes us to give thanks for the healthy children in our lives and give to those who are not. The annual St. Jude marathon was recently held here in Memphis and parents of sick children participated in the marathon either honoring or remembering their child. Remember, giving is not just financial. You can give of your time, you can give of your talent. You can give hope by offering something that is priceless.
Maybe you are thinking, no one will have you on their minds this holiday season, rest assured God will. Maybe you feel unloved. Know that God love you so much, he sent his only son down from heaven to come here and die just for you. He knows you so well he can tell you the number or hairs on your head (Luke 12:7).
Maybe you have been in a rough place so long, that you believe that there no one else can have it that bad. Trust me, someone does. And, just as God delivered them in their season of pain, he will deliver you also.
My favorite thing about the holiday season is that it begins with Thanksgiving. I know that we should be thankful daily for the many blessings of God, but I am extremely grateful that we do set aside special time to thank God and thank those people in our lives who make it as special as it is.
So, this holiday season, whether you find yourself in a house full of fun-loving family and friends or a room with just you and God, there is always someone or something to be grateful for, even if it’s as simple as a warm place to lay your head. Give thanks for all the people in the world who are celebrating a joyous holiday season. And, give to those who are not.