Give thanks for our bountiful blessings this Thanksgiving

Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving is Thursday. Families will gather, friends will celebrate, shopping plans will be made, football will be watched. These are unmistakable assurances.
But Thanksgiving is more than that.
It is a time of gratitude. The essence of the word is being grateful or thankful — which is what we observe on Thanksgiving Day.
For 232 years, Americans have celebrated the official Thanksgiving holiday, and President Lincoln declared it an official federal holiday in 1863. It’s evolved through the years, to be sure, but today we honor a day of Turkey Trot running races, family reunions, bountiful feasts, football, and the unofficial “activity” of the day, a nice nap on the couch.
The drawing power of Thanksgiving brings together many who haven’t seen each other all year long, because of distance and other matters. At the heart of the fourth Thursday of November is a time to gather, reflect, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear or two, as we celebrate what we have and who we are.
Many families have lost loved ones this year, some to COVID. Others are separated by distance.
Target and Walmart have announced their stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, joining many other businesses. This news is a small mercy shown to frontline retail workers who helped America get through the pandemic.
“Walmart said its stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, joining big-box rival Target in shutting its brick-and-mortar locations on the national holiday,” CNBC reports. “With the move, two of the country’s largest discounters are showing how the pandemic has permanently influenced the industry — even as COVID-19 cases drop and the health crisis wanes in the U.S. It will mark the second straight year in which Target’s and Walmart’s stores are closed on Thanksgiving.”
Truth be told, there’s no reason for Walmart and Target to be open on Thanksgiving. After all, they’ll be open before — Wednesday — and the following Friday. Pharmacies and gas stations will be open for those who need medicine or fuel. That big screen television you want? It can wait until the next day (and it will probably be on sale).
One thing the pandemic should have taught us is the value of spending our time wisely. Those holiday meals with family and friends are important. It’s good to see that two of the largest private retailers in America recognize that, and have responded accordingly.
It’s time to be grateful for the important things in life — family, friends, health, food on the table, clothes to wear, and a roof over our heads. Father God, we thank you today for those provisions and your blessings on us.
And, to our readers, we are thankful for you!