Turn Thanksgiving into a daily holiday

Tomorrow, the people of the United States will celebrate one of the biggest holidays of the year… Thanksgiving. The holiday is closely associated with Norman Rockwell’s famous painting.

This holiday has television and radio commercials dedicated to it. There are famous poems and movie scenes about this important holiday.  

Thanksgiving comes with many traditions in the United States.  From the big family meal to the football game in the backyard, most of us have Thanksgiving memories that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.  It’s the chance to get together with friends or family members that we haven’t seen in a long time, making Thanksgiving unique.

I argue in this article that there is much more to this holiday than Turkey and dressing, though. The game of football and spending time with family create essential memories, but there is something even more significant about this holiday.  Here are a couple of crucial benefits of giving thanks for your emotional well-being and spiritual health.  Here are my top reasons why Thanksgiving is important all year long.

It takes your mind off problems

All of us face problems. Most of our life is a journey from one difficult circumstance to the next. If you’re not careful, all your focus and attention will be dedicated to the problems in life. This can easily cause you to miss the good things that are also happening. 

When Abraham Lincoln first proposed Thanksgiving as a national holiday, it was in the middle of our darkest moments. This was 1863, at the height of one of our bloodiest and bleakest periods. During the American Civil War period, isn’t it fascinating that Abraham Lincoln would suggest that the nation stop and give thanks despite the many thousands of dead and wounded that had already accumulated during the Civil War? President Lincoln understood the importance of taking your mind off your problems to look at some blessings.

When facing difficulties, it’s easy to take the simple little things of life for granted.

Thanksgiving forces us to slow down enough and remember some of the good, simple gifts that we have in life. Deliberately taking your attention off the challenges in life is a good practice to do all year long.

It reminds you of your gifts

Thanksgiving forces us to slow down and look at the good things we tend to take for granted. We fail to recognize most of the simple gifts in life until they’re taken away. A free diver will describe the importance of oxygen in a way that most of us will never understand because of their minutes without breathable air underwater. The guy or gal that’s been on the streets will tell you how vital shelter is in a storm. The family that has gone hungry describes the value of food using words that most of us miss.  

You don’t have to go through these extremes to remember the importance of the simple gifts of life.

Thanksgiving reminds us that having food, clothing, shelter, and oxygen to breathe is why we are still alive today. Thanksgiving causes us to remember some of the simple gifts of life. Celebrate Thanksgiving all year long by cultivating the daily discipline of reminding yourself of the simple blessings in your life. 

It puts your focus on someone other than you

There are significant emotional and mental health benefits of being thankful daily. However, perhaps one of the most powerful benefits of this holiday is the spiritual benefit of Thanksgiving. It’s essential to take your focus off of yourself and place your attention on someone much more significant than you.

In our fast-paced, breakneck society, it’s easy to forget about the spiritual components of life.

Thanksgiving forces us to take a step back, pump the brakes, and put our attention back on the God who created and sustains us.  This is precisely what President Lincoln intended when he asked the United States to thank God for their simple blessings despite the horrors of the Civil War.

Thanksgiving forces us to recognize the role of God’s good gifts in every aspect of our life. Without this daily discipline of Thanksgiving, you will get up tomorrow and run through life so quickly that you might miss God’s role in your existence. I’m convinced that this is why God commanded his people to give thanks on all occasions in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  

Don’t let Thanksgiving degenerate into a simple meal with family and friends one day of the year. Let this vital holiday become a daily discipline for you. Giving thanks daily will change your mental health and significantly impact your relationship with Jesus.

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