Well, friend, here we are. Thanksgiving 2020 is upon us. Maybe you’re in disbelief a little, like me. How can it be Thanksgiving already? I truly feel like it should still be July, or September at the latest! But, ready or not, here it is.

It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it? An awful pandemic, life flipped upside-down, an ugly election, racial and social injustice, wildfires, hurricanes, derechos, and divisions among one another. It certainly hasn’t been an easy 2020. But, you and I continue to persevere, to keep our eyes lifted, and to keep living in hope we have right now.

We still have much for which to give thanks.

But, doing so this year might look a little different. I mean, because of this pandemic, many of the Thanksgiving traditions we love and look forward are altered or cancelled altogether. Health experts and many government officials request (or mandate) that we don’t gather with others for our typical holiday celebrations. Many of us feel uneasy and unsure about what’s the “right” thing to do. Sadly, some of our family members are sick. But, as the COVID cases and death toll rise, this request makes sense to me. However, if I can be honest with you, I don’t like it one bit. I’m guessing you don’t like it either.

Because we want to gather with our loved ones. Yes, we want to celebrate Thanksgiving in the ways we normally do. Of course we desire to create new memories and build on former ones. Thanksgiving is a special holiday to many of us.

We want our normal Thanksgiving, thank you very much.

The family, the friends, the meal, the travel, the shopping, the leftovers, the traditions, the festivities, the fun. I don’t think there’s ever been a year we’ve desired this more. To enjoy some normalcy, some usualness, some ordinariness. (Who would have thought we’d appreciate some ordinariness??) Yes, we want our normal Thanksgiving!

Oh, friend, you are not alone in this. I’m feeling all this right along with you. It’s hard and it stinks and it’s just one more thing to add to the list of frustrating things in 2020.

Thanksgiving 2020: What Will You Want To Remember?

So, what do we do if our Thanksgiving 2020 plans aren’t what we want them to be?

Well, I say we have two choices. 1) We can either be upset and angry. We can despise Thanksgiving 2020 and be miserable all day long. Or, 2) We can choose to acknowledge the fact that it’s a different Thanksgiving this year, grieve the loss of our normal holiday traditions, if necessary, and appreciate all we have for which we can be thankful.

After all, dictionary.com defines thanksgiving as:

  • the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
  • an expression of thanks, especially to God.
  • a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
  • a day set apart for giving thanks to God.

Thanksgiving is more than our traditions (as wonderful as they are). Thanksgiving is what happens when gratefulness fills our hearts.

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 28:7 NLT

What will you want to remember about Thanksgiving 2020?

Will it be the frustration and sadness of missing holiday traditions? Or will it be the unexpected joy you found in a different kind of holiday? Will you want to remember the disappointment of the absence of loved ones? Or do you want to remember how you thanked God in new ways for the many blessings in your life?

Even though it’ll likely look different this year, it’s our choice in how we view Thanksgiving 2020. I pray we support and encourage one another as we look for the good and celebrate our blessings in this unusual season.

We really do have so much for which to be thankful!

God bless you, friend!

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