Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in retrospect

I spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Kelsey woke me by talking through the door and shoving little gift offerings under it. After getting a grunted invitation to enter, she and Lori piled in with me. Dinner was great. Candied yams, turkey, Mom's homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, and everything. My dear dad asked for my keys to "move my car", and returned later informing me he'd washed it. Carol, Lori, Kelsey, and I sprawled out on the living room floor and played Sorry and Candyland.

I love the holidays. The festivities, the traditions.

Holidays also gross me out. In the global scope, our festive meals look like gluttonous orgies. Is bingeing a celebration of thankfulness? In retelling the story of the Pilgrims' arrival, I fear we've made the story into little more than a first triumph of the white man in subjecting this continent and its inhabitants to his greed. Because America was meant to be, was given by God for the purpose of Progress, you understand. (Progress toward what, I've never learned.) Alright, please forgive the sarcasm.

So, what to do?

Could we learn to drop the commercialized facade enough to reclaim the meaning of the holidays? I do believe God wants us to enjoy His creation, but can we do that in moderation, with a focus on helping those less fortunate?

Maybe we also need to learn to tell the right stories, stories that open our children's eyes to the humanity of the people around them... and in history. Stories are shaping to the heart, especially the hearts of children. You might need to dig around a bit until you find flip side stories from those taught in curriculums that extol selfishness to heights of glory, but,
"Remember that history isn't what happened; it is what is remembered... by the victors." -Unknown

I love to see holidays celebrated in ways that bring families truly closer and leave, not the emptiness that follows self-indulgence, but hearts enlarged to contain all of humanity... and the Kingdom brought, the Kingdom of One who looks at the earth and doesn't see boundaries.

With that, I bid you adeiu and proceed to enjoy a long winter's nap... but not before leaving you with the greatest comic I ever did see:

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