As is typical for this time of year, the pages of this newspaper in recent days have chronicled the efforts of many groups and individuals whose goal it is to make the holiday season better for some in the community who may be in need.
It’s remarkable, really, the community spirit evidenced by those who find the time, money, energy and passion to offer aid, comfort and sustenance to their fellow man. Regardless of the economic climate, some among us always find a way to garner the food, clothing, supplies or financial donations needed to help others.
From shoebox projects at a local church to motorcycle riders gathering donations for children, volunteers and event organizers across the county are busy finding creative and meaningful ways to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season.
Those efforts are successful because of the giving and generous nature of those who call the county home. Caring people live here, with giving hearts, and they prove it time and again year round, not just during the holidays.
That is a wondrous reality for which we should all give thanks this week, as we join together in the annual celebration of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a unique holiday in that it isn’t tied to a particular religion, the recognition of the importance of a specific person or group of people, nor an historic moment in the history of the nation. It is a celebration in which everyone can participate, regardless of faith or politics.
In the past, Thanksgiving has been perceived as the “unofficial” starting point for a weeks-long holiday season that somehow seems to become longer and more frantic each year, but with Christmas displays showing up at Halloween, the holiday season calendar has somehow bypassed the need for a turkey day kickoff.
Be that as it may, Thanksgiving deserves a focus all its own. For one day each year, as a nation, we pause to say thanks. A simple concept that, the giving of thanks, one you wouldn’t think needs a special day as an annual reminder.
Exposure to the doom and gloom of world news sometimes desensitizes us to the reality of the many blessings we enjoy, living in a country that for all of its problems remains free and allows for individual achievement and success, enjoying a standard of living that is the world’s best, taking for granted resources and opportunities that those living elsewhere can’t even imagine.
It is too easy to allow the meaning of Thanksgiving to become lost in the hectic pace of the rush toward Christmas. Let’s take time this week to let it sink it. Enjoy the family, carve the turkey, share a laugh, sing a song, visit grandma. Say thanks. Mean it.