If you walked through the supermarket this week, you couldn’t miss the arrival of the holiday season. Crowded carts overflowing with frozen turkeys, cans of cranberry sauce, and stuffing mix are one indication of the abundance we’ll enjoy in the coming weeks. Already, black Friday specials are coming out to kick off the Christmas shopping season.
Like everyone else I love these traditions. But it is so easy, in the midst of all this, to fly through what I believe to be the most important of our holidays. That’s why I appreciated the words of our president’s Thanksgiving proclamation, reminding us to pause and give thanks for the innumerable blessings we enjoy:
“A beloved American tradition, Thanksgiving Day offers us the opportunity to focus our thoughts on the grace that has been extended to our people and our country…We also pause our normal pursuits on this day and join in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude for the year’s bounties and blessings.
Thanksgiving Day is a time each year, dating back to our founding, when we lay aside the troubles and disagreements of the day and bow our heads in humble recognition of the providence bestowed upon our Nation. Amidst the uncertainty of a fledgling experiment in democracy, President George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving in America, recounting the blessings of tranquility, union, and plenty that shined upon our young country. In the dark days of the Civil War when the fate of our Union was in doubt, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day, calling for “the Almighty hand” to heal and restore our Nation.
In confronting the challenges of our day, we must draw strength from the resolve of previous generations who faced their own struggles and take comfort in knowing a brighter day has always dawned on our great land. As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation
As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God.”
What a powerful reminder of the many things for which we can be thankful. As we pause to appreciate these blessings, I would like to express my thanks to all of you – our readers, customers and associates have made 2011 a rewarding and prosperous year.
Best wishes for a weekend of food and fellowship as we celebrate our shared blessings.