What’s the Deal with American Thanksgiving?

Yesterday I found myself stating out loud “I miss my family a lot today.” It was American Thanksgiving, the day for family in a ginormous way.

Living in Canada, many people ask me what the big deal is about American Thanksgiving. Why is it the holiday that everyone goes home for, even more than Christmas?

It has nothing to do with Black Friday.

Growing up in a country where everything was on, open, and available 24/7 to have the whole, and I mean whole, country turns everything off on the same day, spend time with the people they love, and remember why they love them is a powerful thing.

There are no Thanksgiving gifts, cookie exchanges, cantatas, church services, lights, trees, great expectations, corporate events, or cards.

Being yourself with the people you love most in the world without having to be or do anything more is something we rarely participate in.

There is nothing quite like:

  • Laughing together as you try to shove stuffing into a slippery bird at 7 am
  • Playing games as the smell of turkey wafts through the air
  • Sharing what you are most thankful for in word and deed.
  • Dumping sugar on top of the pumpkin pie because we missed it on the ingredient list
  • Grafting people into your family who don’t have family
  • Dozing by the fire and sipping hot cider as the day winds down

I am blessed to have grown up in a family that always paused and chose to be grateful whether we had a lot or a little.

Gratitude turns a little into more than you ever thought possible.

The big deal is pretty simple.

It is love.

Love changes the world.

Thanksgiving reminds us to pause and choose love over comparison, busyness, and striving.

When you have more than enough, you have love to share.

How are you changing the world with love?

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