Thanksgiving Day 2018

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”—Psalm 136:1

Our family gathers around the Thanksgiving table every year. The venue changes (we’re in Rhode Island this year for the first time) but now the menu does not.

Mistakes were made. Once I cooked a wild turkey our sexton had hunted with a bow and arrow. Another year I abandoned my bread stuffing for a chipotle cornbread recipe I saw in a foodie magazine. These innovations were met with the kind of murmuring that a pastor hears when she changes the words of the Doxology, and for much the same reason.

Like a familiar liturgy, the reliable sameness of the items on the Thanksgiving table signal some order amidst the turbulence that takes place from year to year.

My parents are long gone, and our children are grown-ups with jobs, married, and there are now three grandchildren in the last two years.

Like most families we’ve had our share. We have weathered illnesses and injuries and periods of joblessness. We have seen our children off to college and move to other coasts. We have welcomed home a prodigal now and then.

So when we gather together before the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie there is something of the sacred about the feast before us. The simple fact of being together makes the time holy.

And like the sky above us, and the earth beneath our feet, the steadfast love of God frames our several journeys through time, for which we give thanks.

Prayer: Everlasting God, we thank you that your love and mercy endure to all generations.

(This is my United Church of Christ Daily Devotional for November 27, 2014 with yearly updates. To see the original go here. To subscribe to the Daily Devotional and receive it every day by e-mail go here. Photo of turkey by R.L. Floyd, who cooked it as well)

“Thanksgiving” A Daily Devotional

turkey“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”—Psalm 136:1

Our family gathers around the Thanksgiving table every year. The venue changes, but now the menu does not. Once I cooked a wild turkey our sexton had hunted. Another year I abandoned my bread stuffing for a chipotle corn bread recipe I saw in a foodie magazine. These innovations were met with the kind of murmuring that a pastor hears when she changes the words of the Doxology, and for much the same reason. Continue reading

Don’t Shop on Thanksgiving

Norman-Rockwell-Thanksgiving-thanksgiving-2927689-375-479

Last year I wrote a post called “Saving Thanksgiving from the Retailers” that got a lot of traction.  I wrote:

Thanksgiving is the only holiday that Americans of all religions can share, because it isn’t a religious holiday, although one can celebrate it as such if you choose. It is also the one holiday that many Americans gather as extended families. It is the only holiday on which I see my brother and sister and their families, along with my own children and their significant others.

But what if you have to work on Thanksgiving? More and more retailers, not content with the immense profits they make on so-called “Black Friday,” are opening on Thanksgiving. You and I can choose not to shop on Thanksgiving, but the workers in these stores won’t have that choice.

This year I decided to list which stores are open and which ones are closed on Thanksgiving to help people know which stores to support. But first I want to especially commend Costco for putting their workers and their families ahead of profits. Costco, which is the second-largest retailer in the country (after Walmart), will close on Thanksgiving. “It’s an important holiday in the U.S., and our employees work hard during the holiday season, and we believe they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving Day with their family and friends,” Richard A. Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Costco Wholesale, told The New York Times.

Here’s a list of stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving:

Costco

Home Depot

T.J. Maxx

Marshalls

Ace Hardware

Barnes & Noble

Patagonia

Dillard’s

Crate and Barrel

Neiman Marcus

GameStop

Nordstrom

Bed Bath & Beyond

Burlington Coat Factory

REI

Barnes & Noble

DSW

GameStop

Hobby Lobby

HomeGoods

Jo-Ann Fabrics

Lowe’s

Petco

PetSmart

Talbots

Sam’s Club

And here’s a list of stores that will be open on Thanksgiving and their opening times:

6 a.m.: Kmart

7 a.m.: Big Lots, Dollar General

8 a.m.: Family Dollar, RadioShack

4 p.m.: Michael’s, Old Navy

5 p.m.: Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JC Penney, Toys R Us

6 p.m.: Belk, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Sears, Staples, Sports Authority, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart

I cobbled these lists together from various on-line sources, and as far as I know, they are accurate as of today. They are, of course, subject to change and we hope consumer pressure will lead some of them to close.