Friday, First Week of Advent
December 5, 2008

"Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving..." -- Psalm 100: 3-4

Giving Thanks

Although Thanksgiving is over, this does not mean that it is time to stop giving thanks for what we have been blessed with.  At a time when Christmas has become a franchise, I believe we should think about the holiday season as a way to give thanks for what we already have (whether it be family, friends, or good health), rather than a time to think about what we want from others.

I have been think about this a lot lately because my father has been undergoing health difficulties throughout the semester.  Marvelously, and thankfully, my entire extended family (and trust me, it's a big one) has made the effort to help my father in any way they can.  This has ranged from house visits and baked goods, to building a ramp on the side of our house.  All of these things were not bought--time and thoughtfulness went into these gifts, and as a result they meant more to my father, mother, and me than any other thing they could have done.  However, the most important part of all this is the fact that my family, although thankful for the things my relatives have done for us, is more thankful for my relatives themselves and their kind thoughts.

So, as we think about the celebration of the birth of Jesus, celebrate those that you have around you.  Don't take their presence for granted.

--Ashley Stagner '09