Saturday, December 2, 2006

The Thanksgiving Day Shuffle

By Keith Fisher

How was your holiday? If it was anything like mine, you had a great time. We met at my parent’s, had dinner, and for the first time in a long time the whole family was together, so I took a picture. Then I took another one because there were several that shaded their eyes from the sun.

"OK" I said. "I’ll arrange it so you won’t have to look into the sun." After the hassle of the picture, (and I was surprised that everyone actually stood for it), we waddled back in the house and languished in the glow of a great meal revisited. The battle over the best napping position ensued and was settled in first come, first served order. The rest of us took mental naps as a result of the brain shut down, caused by the drug that a turkey produces naturally. (I wonder why we never see whole flocks of turkeys taking naps at all hours).

After the nap, those of us who could stomach seconds did, and the rest of us prepared for the Shuffle. "What is that?" you ask. During every Thanksgiving holiday, there is a point when being thankful passes and being greedy begins. It’s the point when a few stout hearted and perhaps weak-minded individuals begin to peruse the sale ads and plan their strategy for the next morning. I begin to remember the Christmas lights that must be traditionally hung on the house the next day.

The rest of us start asking each other what they want for Christmas. That question always turns to thoughts of what we want for ourselves and magically, without warning the shuffle has begun. The brief moments when we shift gears and go from Thanksgiving season to Christmas season. The moment when the world pauses to get a second wind.

Over the course of the next few weeks we will:
Be bombarded by more Christmas music than we can stand.
Send and receive more mail than we have all year.
Eat more homemade treats than is prudent.
We’ll go in and out of more stores than we ever knew existed.
There will be parties and dinners and tolerating our in-laws.

All of this madness will come to a climax on the last night of the year when we make resolutions that we will NOT spend so much, next year. Providing we can talk the merchants and banks into forgiving our debt, otherwise it will be a moot point.

Before you think I have a man named Ebenezer in my family tree, or that I live on a mountain peak looking down on the world, let me explain my tongue in cheek:

Having a birthday in December, I used to get frustrated over people playing Christmas music and putting up lights before my birthday. I had issues when birthday presents were wrapped in Christmas paper. When I got older, I overcame it. I realized whom we were remembering and that HIS birthday is more important than mine. I love him so much that my heart is glad that we can celebrate his birth.

We all know that we tend to get lost in the Thanksgiving shuffle. With all we do during the season, we tend to think of December 25 as a busy day, the day when the shuffle shifts gears and goes into return and exchange mode. Of course, we reverence the Savior, but the shuffle overshadows the purpose and the shuffle, begins earlier every year.

So before we turn it into the Independence Day Shuffle, I for one need to pause more and remember the man. To step away from the season and find peace. Perhaps turn the day back into a day of worship. Jesus is the light of the world. He did for us, that which we could not do for ourselves. He deserves our unending gratitude and love.

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