A Time to Recharge Batteries and Truly Give Thanks

I don’t know about you, but I really NEED Thanksgiving this year.

No, I don’t mean the commercial Thanksgiving weekend, replete with desperate, delusional Black Friday shoppers who begin plotting their Christmas shopping strategy on Thanksgiving. You know, those folks that battle tooth and nail, give up precious hours of sleep to sit in long, cold lines and essentially risk life and limb to get their child that special gift that little Johnnie or Susie absolutely, positively cannot live without.

Yeah, that’s not the spirit of Thanksgiving, friends. At least not the Thanksgiving I know and love.

My Thanksgiving Day this year will be about three things. In order. They are:

1.    Giving thanks to a God that has been so good to me and my family;

2.    Sharing precious moments with family and friends; and

3.    Good food and a little football (both playing in the front yard and watching on television)

What a blessing that, if we allow it to be, the restfulness of Thanksgiving Day can actually be extended to a four-day weekend. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that getting out is a bad thing. In fact, our weekend plan includes our traditional trip to the Festival of the Trees in Baltimore.

But somehow it seems as a society, we’ve lost touch with what Thanksgiving Day and weekend should be – or used to be – about. 

And, perhaps because of the contentious and mostly disheartening election season that has just ended, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this year more than I have in long time. I feel the need to recharge my batteries with family and friends. Our family plans include Mass Thursday morning to give thanks and give food to those in need, then spending the day with friends. We plan to play a little football outside (do you remember those days?), then head inside to prepare a meal and relax, maybe watching a little NFL football on TV.

Friends, I pray that you all do yourselves a favor. Enjoy Thanksgiving this year the way it was meant to be enjoyed, the way that you used to enjoy it. The Gospels give us a blueprint to follow – when our Lord needed to rest and recharge his weary body and spirit, he retreated from crowds, enjoyed a meal with close friends and spent time in prayer. What a great recipe for all of this Thanksgiving!

So, peace to you and your families this Thanksgiving Day and weekend. May God richly bless you and may you enjoy precious moments with family and friends… and may your bodily and spiritual batteries be recharged!

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.