I am amazed at how easy it is for us to get lost in the nostalgia of the big end of the year celebrations. How many times do we gather for Thanksgiving (or Christmas, New Years, whatever) with our family and find ourselves expecting that this year will be the Hallmark moment, that somehow this year will be different from all the previous other years. In fact the people in our families are the same people they were last year (and however many other years before that). In fact their rough edges (and ours); their foibles (and ours); their short comings (and ours) are likely to be pretty much what they have always been. When we place unreal expectations on these events we set ourselves up for the "Great Holiday Disappointment!"
Here's an idea. Why not decide ahead of time that it will be pretty much like it always is. The family member who drinks too much will probably do so; that one odd cousin who puts the large black olives on the end of his fingers will probably do so again this year; the strange little tensions that come when the house is too full of people (no matter how well we get along) -- these things will probably all be there. So, rather than hoping or wishing it were different why not embrace them just the way they are and enjoy the replay of the day?
Begin thanksgiving with its original purpose. Thank God for another year, for what we DO have and for the opportunity to continue to grow, mature and make a difference in this world.
God's blessings be yours this day.