John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Rant Part Two: Thanksgiving Edition

I just returned from my final dash to the grocery store in preparation for our Thanksgiving Day feast tomorrow. As I was driving through my neighborhood I noticed that one of my neighbors already has their Christmas tree up and fully decorated. They've also got a full-on Nativity scene (with Precious Moments characters) going on in the front yard. Tonight -- the night before Thanksgiving.

People, please! Do we really have to skip over a perfectly good holiday like Thanksgiving to get to the next one? What is going on here?

This is more than just my annual "let's not break out the Burl Ives Christmas record just yet" rant. I'll admit that I'm a little bit on edge lately, trying like crazy to finish up this book before my deadline. But still.... This is about something substantial (I think).

Is it so hard for us to stop everything, take a breath before we plunge into the shopping orgy that Christmas has become and reflect on the things we have to be thankful for? Why must we give short shrift to the one holiday that calls on us all to say, "Thank you"?

I'm afraid it's because we've forgotten that so much of what we have comes to us from elsewhere. In our society, self-sufficiency is what we want. We've bought into the crazy lie that is the "self-made" man or woman. We think we've got what we've got because we earned it through our own initiative, cleverness and hard work. But who gave us those skills? We would have nothing without the help of others and the constant provision of our heavenly Father.

Perhaps it is because we have Thanksgiving-sized meals every day now. There was a time when feasting was unusual; it happened only a few times each year. Not anymore. We gorge ourselves all the time, so there's nothing unusual about this fourth Thursday of November anymore.

Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving just doesn't get the respect it deserves these days, and I don't think that's a good thing.

Okay, let's curb the rant and try to redeem this post by asking some salient questions.

Do you agree that Thanksgiving become the Jan Brady of holidays?

What can the average person do to slow down and give Thanksgiving its full due?