This is the Day…Wednesday
November 25, 2020
Best Thanksgiving Ever
As a young boy, Thanksgiving was always a special time of year at my house. While it did not equal the anticipation of Christmas, it was close. Partially because of all the good food we would eat. Especially the desserts like chocolate pie, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate fudge and my Mom’s world-famous East Gastonia Mud Pie. My Dad told me that some people in Mississippi had stolen the name because it was so good. It was the best mixture of chocolate, marshmallow, and nuts I have ever tasted.
The whole family would always gather for our Thanksgiving meal in the early afternoon. We all sat around the table, piling our plates with food, laughing at each other’s stories, and deciding who would get to eat the last turkey leg. Every year, during the meal, I would look around the table at my Mom and Dad and all my brothers and remember that life would not always be this way. It was as though I wanted to take a snapshot in my mind so that I could always hold on to that special time together.
I was right. As we grew older, my brothers started bringing girlfriends over for Thanksgiving. They were certainly welcome, but we could no longer fit everyone at the table together. Then my brothers began to get married and needed to eat Thanksgiving dinner at their in-law’s house. It was still wonderful when we would all gather on Thanksgiving afternoon and visit but, it was not the same.
When I was about fifteen years old, Thanksgiving Day took on a new meaning. As the day approached, I found out that my closest brother was going to be eating at his girlfriend’s house. The next brother was also going to be away with some friends, and my oldest brother was married and going to be with his wife’s family. Thanksgiving Day was going to be me and Mom and Dad.
During that previous summer, I had spent time at the Salvation Army Boy’s Club in Gastonia and had become good friends with the director. He and I came up with an idea to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the families in need that were associated with the Boy’s Club. So, I spent Thanksgiving Day that year serving up turkey and dressing to 300 families around Gastonia. Then I went home and had a feast with Mom and Dad. It was the best Thanksgiving ever.
The seasons of life will change. I missed those Thanksgivings around the table with all my brothers. I always will. But that Thanksgiving I learned that the heart of thankfulness is not found in what you have. It is found in what you give.
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with Thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30)