Janet Weisiger: Giving thanks this holiday season

Janet Weisiger: Giving thanks this holiday season

How excited we are when another special holiday appears on our calendars. And here we are with Thanksgiving the special holiday this week!

Usually, this holiday is surrounded by Christmas shopping and preparing for family visits. But of course, this holiday means no school and the kids love that. What is the important reason for Thanksgiving? To praise and thank God for all his many blessings that have been poured on us since the Pilgrims first came to our struggling colonists with special gifts of food. We think we have done all this on our own. But what about God’s leading?

Have you ever been to Europe? Dick and I went on a special tour and I was amazed at how small the European countries are in comparison to our huge United States of America. And the U.S. was only completed a few hundred years ago and we continue to grow. How much we are thankful to God for what he has done in a few hundred years. And to think of our country internally, even though we have growing pains, we still are the leaders of the world.

Yes, who do we thank at this time of year? How about thanking all the people who have helped us, of our neighbors and friends who are always there when we need assistance? And of course our family. If you are young, your parents are always there to be of help. But many times we find parents annoying and we choose to go our own way. But who protects us, who feeds us, who clothes us, who financially educates us? Let’s be grateful to our loving parents and make this Thanksgiving Day special for them.

When I was young, I looked forward to Thanksgiving. My Aunt Stella and Uncle Ernie lived way up in New York state near Buffalo and it was the tradition they would drive down to New Jersey every Thanksgiving. They had two boys, who my brother Donald and I enjoyed playing with them. I was always relieved when the weather forecasts promised no snow because that would have been a problem traveling.

Thanksgiving was always a special weekend for us. Even though some of the food I did not like there was always something yummy I enjoyed. And I still remember all the fun the adults had laughing at jokes and memories. My Mom had three sisters growing up and they were heard many times laughing. I never inquisitively asked what they were laughing about because they never told me anyway and it was usually about one family member, the fourth sister who never joined in family gatherings.

Yes, and of course we love to go shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend. The idea, of course, is to buy the products that are most popular before they are sold out. I remember one Christmas season. Glenn had graduated from Hope College and he kept putting off the Christmas buying. Well, the day finally arrived and he could not wait any longer. So on the day before Christmas, Glenn was running from shop after shop buying everyone in the family just what they wanted. We laughed on Christmas Day knowing Glenn had waited so long and yet he found in the stores the perfect gifts for family members, at a cheaper price and conveniently wrapped.

Did the rest of the family learn from that experience? Unfortunately, no, but we laughed a lot.

Yes, Thanksgiving Day is here and never forget to thank God for all the blessings we have been given.

— Community Columnist Janet Baird Weisiger is a resident of Holland, residing in Vista Springs. Read her blog at jweisiger.blogspot.com. 

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