What's the Big Deal About Thanksgiving?

(Unsplash/National Cancer Institute)

Thanksgiving is the top-rated holiday for Americans.

Hands down, Thanksgiving is the best day of the year for the American family, and here's why:

Thanksgiving touches many of the things we love most—things like time off work, hanging out with family, watching endless football and eating delicious food. These must rank among the top 5 greatest pleasures of Americans.

The Harris Poll survey shows:

—74% of the people surveyed say they want to have their Thanksgiving meal in a home.

—14% of Americans admit to serving a store-bought pie and passing it off as homemade.

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—30% of Americans will include a dish from another culture, including kimchi, enchiladas or ceviche.

—46% of people who purchased pies for Thanksgiving bought a pumpkin pie.

The Harris Poll survey also found that 77% of people love saving holiday meal leftovers, while 18% of Baby Boomers and 32% of Millennials say they do not store the leftovers. Every generation has its Thanksgiving preferences.

But the most significant part of Thanksgiving is it reminds us to give thanks to a God who gives us so much.

As we reflect on the joy of Thanksgiving, we should practice "giving thanks" more often.

The Scriptures encourage us: " In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thess. 5:18).

Notice the Scripture says to be grateful "in" all circumstances, not "for" all things. That's another level for sure.

Give Thanks

The real purpose is to give thanks. Giving thanks is healthy to the soul.

Researchers asked participants to smile while thinking of something for which they're grateful. They found that this consistently stimulated mental activity associated with positive feelings and emotions.

Giving thanks is just right for you, all the way around. The real secret to being grateful is no secret at all.

Choose to be grateful.

Then you do it again and again. As we practice "giving thanks" every day, maybe we can call it "Thanks-living" instead of Thanksgiving!

I think that's a great idea.

This article was first published at medium.com.

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