Because Life can only be lived a moment at a time.

Where Do I Send My Thank You Note?

“To Whom Do We Give Thanks?”
I pass the local Unitarian Universalist church every time I head to town and I always look at their sign to see the sermon topic for the week.  I imagine we don’t agree on much when it comes to theology, but I think the title for last Sunday was right on the mark.
This won’t be a column about how Thanksgiving winds up squished between a witch on a broomstick and Santa on a sleigh.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m as fired up about the holiday’s minor league status as anybody, but something else has been preying on my mind.  It’s this:  Thanksgiving forces us to choose sides.  You must decide if there’s Someone to thank.
Halloween is a religious holiday for some, but for most Americans it’s a time for small goblins to get free candy and adults to look ridiculous.  Christmas developed a split personality long ago, with the Christ Child and Santa Claus vying for dominance.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” vs. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
But we haven’t figured out how to strip Thanksgiving of its meaning.  Yes, each year more retailers decide to start “Black Friday” 24 hours early, and I cede the fact that the fourth Thursday of November is at risk of becoming National Shopping Day.  But Thanksgiving by definition involves thankfulness.
To whom do I give thanks?  I thank my husband for opening the door for me, the lady at Target for carefully wrapping the picture frames I purchased, my sons for remembering my birthday, my friends for listening to my rambles.  But who do I thank for those people?  For both stranger-to-stranger kindness and love and friendship woven through decades?
For me, the answer is as clear as Wyoming's sub-zero air.  There is only One to Whom I must give thanks on all days and in all circumstances. 
Thank You, God, for everything.

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