November 28, 2013 12:26:26 AM
While we have added our voice to the chorus of those who lament the encroachment of Christmas on Thanksgiving Day, in another sense we find the close proximity of these two holidays most appropriate.
Despite the commercial forces that have invaded the sanctity of Thanksgiving -- numerous large retailers will be open for business today -- we understand that the two holidays share a common theme.
Today, we pause to reflect on the many blessings we have enjoyed as we celebrate with family and friends. And if the best expression of that gratitude is through extending the generosity that comes from a grateful heart to those less fortunate, then our thoughts will naturally turn to Christmas.
Soon, but hopefully not today, we will join with other Americans in the frenzy that has become the Christmas shopping season.
But as we reflect on all that we have that makes us thankful today, let us also commit to express our gratitude not with words alone, but with acts of true charity that represent the best ideals of Christmas. How much better for everyone if we could maintain this spirit of charity throughout the year.
There are many opportunities to share with the less fortunate, so many that we are reluctant to offer a list, since it is likely that we would inadvertently omit more good causes than we include.
Churches, civic and charitable organizations abound, providing plenty of opportunities to help through toy, food and clothing drives.
Certainly, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, some of us have been more fortunate than others. But even those for whom economic limitations prevent helping others through financial means, a grateful heart, no matter how poor, has something to share.
Volunteer. Visit a sick neighbor. Take some time to encourage someone weighed down with troubles.
A kind word costs nothing, but can often be of immeasurable value to the sick or lonely or troubled people we find among us.
We hope that you have much to be thankful for today, and that tomorrow hearts too filled with gratitude to be contained will naturally spill over with acts of kindness to others.
So we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
And a Merry Christmas, too.