The holiday tomorrow is a weird one.
Ostensibly, Thanksgiving Day is set aside for our nation to give thanks to God for His unexpected and undeserved blessings (inspired by President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863 and set as law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941).
It’s now a day where we eat, watch a parade and lots of football, then get ready for a busy shopping weekend. Sure, we may pause for a quick prayer of thanks, we may say to the people we love that we are thankful for them, but we don’t do a lot of giving thanks.
Maybe we need to stop doing it altogether. Yes, I said it. Let’s forget Thanksgiving.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for saying thank you.
But maybe we need to do less giving thanks on an annual holiday where we eat too much and the tryptophan kicks in and we loosen our belts and are officially allowed to start listening to Christmas music. Let’s forget Thanksgiving, and let’s start Thanksthinking. Let’s spend more time thinking about the things we are thankful for. Not just on the fourth Thursday of November, but every day.
The apostle Paul said this in Philippians. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Phil 4:6, NLT)
When we spend our lives in Thanksthinking, we will worry less, and our anxiety will lessen. Why? Because instead of focusing on what we don’t have, what is wrong, what we dislike about our lives, we are accentuating the blessings we have, the goodness we experience every day. Honestly, my anxiety goes up when I think about what is missing. My stress increases when I think about what I don’t have, what might go wrong, what could possibly happen if—…
I am going to live my life celebrating Thanksthinking every day.
Today, I’m Thanksthinking about my amazing kids that I enjoy being around, a beautiful and hardworking wife who brings incredible joy to my life, readers who respond to my books and buy them for friends and family, new experiences in our new home and city, my parents coming to town for the holidays. I’m Thanksthinking about Christmas music I love, Disney+, living a few miles from Disneyland, and traditions. I’m thanksthinking about the rain coming to California, turkey, and hot toddies on Thanksgiving morning.
You see, ff we spend our lives in Thanksthinking, we can actually be thankful on Thanksgiving. For delicious food, good friends and family, laughter, memories. For parades and football (if that’s your thing), for the clerks and salespeople working at the sales.
There’s a lot to give thanks for this year–tomorrow–today–even in this moment. What are you thinksthinking this year? How can you show it to the ones you love and care about most?
Let’s do it together. Happy Thanksthinking, my friends.