A Spirit of Gratitude

Maybe a holiday isn’t so much a day, but the spirit behind the day.

Holidays should be inherently portable. I don’t have room in my suitcase for boxes of stuffing, cans of pumpkin filling, nativity scenes, ornaments, lights, or an artificial tree. But these are just symbols, representing something real. Our problem is that the symbols have become more important than what they signify.

Thankfulness. Joy. Hope. Peace. These are the signified, the spirit behind the holidays that give them meaning. Take away the symbols, and they are all you have left.

Don’t get me wrong: symbols are extremely useful to remind us of why we celebrate. But my hope is that they don’t make us jaded, going through the motions of another “holiday routine.” Instead, let’s take time to reflect and be grateful for what God has given us. Without any sort of reminder about Thanksgiving today, thankfulness is all I have left. But that’s ok. It’s actually the point.

And we do what we can. I will be celebrating tomorrow with some friends. Because celebration is best done in community, and joy and gratitude are meant to be shared.

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