Nearly twenty years ago, John Grisham penned a comedy novel entitled Skipping Christmas. The premise of the novel is this: Luther and Nora Krank attempt to avoid the frenzy of everything that comes with a traditionally celebrated Christmas. Their daughter has left on a Peace Corps assignment to Peru and they are deal with the separation anxiety that comes along with the significant family change. So, to escape the emotions that come with Christmas they attempt to skip Christmas to deal with their newfound anxiety. You know the story, don’t you? The novel was adapted for the film Christmas with the Kranks. As we sit here on the precipice of the holiday season let me present a simple challenge to you: Don’t skip Thanksgiving.
Don’t get me wrong – I know we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving in a variety of ways. There will be a myriad of foods available on the day of Thanksgiving. Personally, I love to make the sides – homemade dressing, homemade cranberry sauce and avocado & black bean egg rolls as an appetizer are a few of my favorites. There might be football games on in the background on the big screen followed by a game of football in the yard, perhaps. There might be board games and maybe a holiday movie to cap the night off (Christmas in Connecticut, Holiday Inn and Elf are three of my favorites). There will be the day after Thanksgiving with leftovers (I love leftovers!) and perhaps some shopping for socks at Fred Meyer’s (totally a thing to do in Douglas County, right?). I know we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving in a variety of ways. My challenge to you is to not just celebrate Thanksgiving – make sure you don’t skip Thanksgiving.
Don’t skip the opportunity to be grateful.
Don’t skip the opportunity to practice thanksgiving with your spouse together. When was the last time that you and your spouse sat down together and listed things you’re grateful for? Maybe you can make it a game of sorts and try to come up with 50 or 100 things you’re grateful for without repeating one while you alternate turns?
Don’t skip the opportunity to teach your kids what thanksgiving looks like and what it means. Maybe you can create a ‘Thanksgiving Jar’ where each member of the family jots down one thing they are grateful for on a slip of paper every day and put it in the ‘Thanksgiving Jar’. Then in December, you can read a few each night leading up to Christmas.
Don’t skip the opportunity to be grateful for salvation. Take some time and read through some of the Scriptures that describe the beauty of salvation: Colossians 2, Ephesians 1 & 2, Romans 5 & 6. Meditate on these Scriptures.
Don’t skip the opportunity to think about what Jesus did on the cross for us. Read through the Gospels and think through how Jesus endured so much so that he could pay a price for our sin that we couldn’t pay to receive the gift of eternal life that we could never earn.
Don’t skip the opportunity to show gratitude for the friendships and relationships in your life. Reach out to your friends and let them know how grateful you are for them. What would it look like for you to show them your gratitude?
Thanksgiving is not just a holiday; it’s a word that denotes action. It means we should do more than just celebrate Thanksgiving. It means that we practice the act of thanksgiving.
So, in the rush to celebrate it, let’s not skip Thanksgiving.