Skipping Thanksgiving

I went to Wal Mart a couple of weeks ago and noticed that they already had the Christmas stuff out. I think that says something about us. We skip Thanksgiving and rush on to Christmas. We ignore the gifts we have in our rush to get even more.

When our oldest boys were really small we loved to sit and watch as they opened presents at Christmas.

They didn’t really understand the concept of the whole present thing.

We’d plop them down in a big pile and Amy would sit close by and hand them presents while I dutifully manned the video camera. John William or Andrew would open a present and start playing with whatever came out. They would totally ignore the pile of wrapped packages all around them. They had a toy. They were content. Time to play.

John William was the ” worst.”  Once you gave him a toy, you couldn’t get him to open another present. He was perfectly content with one.  And, if you accidentally let him open the train, well, Christmas was over.   He would not leave the train to open any more packages.

So several Christmases we’d be in the living room with packages while John William was belly to the floor in the kitchen watching his train go. ” Come open another present.”

“No thanks.”

How does he do that? There’s something magical about being able to ignore future gifts while you fully enjoy the one you have.

As time rolled by they grew into good old American conspicuous consumers. I remember watching one birthday party, a pile of toys around one of the boys and him tearing through them like a buzz saw. Paper flying. Stop, look at it, set it aside and head for the next one.

When he got to the bottom of the pile they all played with the boxes.

I remember thinking, “I taught him that.” He used to enjoy every gift to the max. Now, he just rushes from one to the next.

How do we un-teach  this?

I suppose I’ll have to un-teach myself first.   The key is thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is where you take an inventory of your blessings.

God fills your world with blessings every day.  He wants you to fully enjoy each gift. If you rush on from one to the next like a child at Christmas you never really enjoy anything. Don’t skip thanksgiving. It will take the joy out of life.

Listen again to Psalm 103: 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;


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