It’s the day before Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. I love that Thanksgiving is right before Christmas. I think we would do well to set aside time purely for giving thanks and cultivating a grateful attitude before the greed season Christmas.

As a side note, and not really the point of this post, but I’m throwing it in: I’m not a Grinch. Really, I’m not. I love Christmas and all that it means. I decorate, I do a Christmas tree, I cook and bake and I love the gift thing, family traditions, spending extra time with family and friends. I love it all, but underscoring everything during Thanksgiving is the need to remember that we are celebrating God’s greatest gift to mankind: Himself. Jesus. This should set the tone for all we do in the upcoming weeks. Also…I stay out of malls this time of year and shop as little as possible. I hate traffic. I hate fighting for parking. I hate that the general population acts like all the groceries in the world are going to run out tomorrow, and that Target, Walmart, Costco, and Best Buy are all going to close their doors forever this afternoon. I hate spending money I have no business spending on cr*p that no one really wants anyway. (I do love it when I find the perfect gift for someone, but it doesn’t have to be Christmas for that to happen!) I really think we need to step back and have a look at what’s really important in our all-too-busy lives: Jesus, family, friends, all the God has done, is doing, and will do. This, for me, is what’s important in life. A food processor or a bottle of perfume under the tree a month from now won’t go amiss, to be sure, but those things are just extras. We need Thanksgiving, the holiday and also in our hearts all year long! We need to remember Who gave us life and everything in it! Today I am thankful that all three of my kids are here with us (two live here and one flew in yesterday) and that we will all be together as a family with some of our church family joining us for dinner tomorrow. After all the turkey is gone and the pies are reduced to crumbs I want to remember this year as a blessed year, one that we were able to spend together as a family, reach into the lives of others, let them reach into ours, and welcome a new family member, a son-in-law.

My kids doing what they usually do when they are together: messing with each other.