I must admit I absolutely love Thanksgiving. The simplicity of it is wonderful. Sharing a nice meal with family and friends is wonderfully simple. We live in an era in which this simple time to reflect and give thanks with family and friends over a nice meal has been passed over. “Black Friday” starts earlier and earlier every year as people forget Thanksgiving and camp out at the mall trying to get the best deals on Christmas gifts. In my humble opinion this is harmful to families and detrimental to children.

Maybe Thanksgiving is just too simple. Not enough flair, no trees, gifts, stockings, etc. After all what importance is there in giving thanks and breaking bread together?

Jesus often took bread and gave thanks with others before enjoying a meal. One example of this is when Jesus was on the road to Emmaus in the Gospel of Luke. “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’” (Luke 24:30-32) Simple yet so rich and wonderful. After the blessing and breaking, the meal was eaten and then the revelation of Christ occurred to the men. Children, like adults, will often learn more from simplicity than chaos.

Jesus was born in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, and then was raised in the small, poor town of Nazareth. Remember the Jews thought that their Messiah would be like any other king. They expected he would wear a gold crown and ride in a chariot, so they failed to believe and accept Jesus as their true King. But the blessings of God are in the simplicity that is in Christ. Have we also lost sight of the simplicity that is in Christ? Have we lost sight of the simplicity that is offered in celebrating Thanksgiving?

My encouragement to all families this November would be this: Do not lose sight of the importance of the simplicity in celebrating Thanksgiving with your family. Take a step back, kick it down a notch, relax, and enjoy the simplicity together just like Jesus did. Do not get caught up in the “rat race”. Life is too short. We are praying for your children and families.