I hope your Thanksgiving was a time of bonding with family and friends, feasting and giving thanks for our many blessings. This spirit of gratitude is the perfect springboard into Advent and the journey to Christmas.
For many of us, the world holds many anxieties and fears, yet we know life was pretty frightening on that first Christmas too. The angels addressed this with their first words, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy!" What better message for the year 2009?
Christmas always seems to come at just the right time to pull mankind back from the brink of insanity ... to invade our hearts and lives with a spirit of peace and hope.
When our emphasis shifts from ourselves to others the Christmas spirit becomes contagious. I see this every day in this community in the many ways we care for each other. The spirit is alive!
Last night we were laughing about our Thanksgiving experience last year. The extended family had been invited to dinner with our granddaughter Rachael, husband J.T. and baby son Helly in Traverse City.
It was a wonderful day, four generations were celebrating our baby's birth with a great Thanksgiving feast as a bonus. J.T. is quite a chef and had roasted one turkey with stuffing and was deep frying another since we'd all been anxious to try one fried. The food was bountiful and delicious and, while we were stuffing ourselves, the resident dog, a young Bernese Mountain pup, Oso, was snoozing peacefully in a sunny corner. (I bet you are ahead of me now!)
After dinner we took our coffee to the living room and about two sips later there was a huge clatter from the dining room. We all yelled, "OSO!"
Sure enough he had wrestled the fried turkey to the floor and was in doggie-heaven until he lost his trophy. He was a good dog to withstand those wonderful smells as long as he did.