Thanksgiving is one of the holidays I have the most appreciation for.  One would think that since I am Christian that the two Christian biggies would be at the top of my list of favorite holidays, if I were to make one, but to be as truthful as possible I do not celebrate Christmas and Easter as Christian holidays so much any more.  They are holidays to me, the significance of the birth and resurrection of Jesus something that I don’t like to reserve just for a holiday.  I can celebrate Christmas without making it about Jesus.  Easter to me is less of a holiday than it is a chance to worship through remembrance, the whole egg and chocolate thing separated from the faith, the worship and remembrance an every day thing for me.

The American observance of Thanksgiving is something everyone who lives here participates in.  As I take the day in, I know that there are so many joining with me, more united in purpose than any American observance I can think of.  It doesn’t matter what flavor of belief a person is, most celebrate and take time to give thanks in their own way, across the map of America.  Other countries have their own version of Thanksgiving, celebrate in their own unique way.  I dare say that most, whether they give God credit the rest of the year or not, take a moment to give thanks in some form during the Thanksgiving day.  Christmas, at least in America, is not a united holiday.  Neither is Easter.  Every religion has their own form of those holidays, a separate way to approach the holiday, and some want to take God away from the celebration of those holidays.  Thanksgiving is not that way.  I like that.  Peace on earth might be more appropriate for Thanksgiving than Christmas, not to take anything away from Jesus.

Tomorrow I will not be staring bleary eyed at the television with my brother in laws.  Since I was married 21 years ago that has been the way the majority of my Thanksgivings have gone.  Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with my wife’s family, sometimes at our house since we live closest to my father in law, sometimes we travel to Ohio or Iowa.  Every day has the food, the time to give thanks around the table before we start eating, a day where we share and rest together, catch up, enjoy a very simple time.  This year, however, is different than others.  Children have grown, moved away, and Mir’s sisters are all taken away to their own family celebrations.  Tomorrow it will just be the four of us.  I am really looking forward to that.  With the kids going their own directions so often, rarely do we spend a day together.  There is the possibility of disaster, but then there also is the chance to have a day of peace together, a chance to give thanks, to look at each other with thanks.  We will cook together, something we don’t do any other time of the year for the most part.  We will watch football, play games, watch movies.

I am going to hide the video game system, I think.

It’s also the last Thanksgiving year with Alyssa as a permanent member of my household.  Next year she is a college student.  She will likely be back with us for the holiday next year, but there is always the possibility of something or someone taking her away.  That gives me a big dad sigh.

So we will celebrate tomorrow.. with everyone, whether Jew or Gentile or Christian or Muslim or Agnostic or Goth or Gangbanger or whatever the person may be.  We will all give thanks.