Whatever happened to Happy Thanksgiving?

All day today—the day before the American holiday of Thanksgiving—I was greeted with the words Have a good holiday, or Enjoy your holiday. This isn't entirely new. I've noticed such generic Thanksgiving wishes for the past few years.

This has me wondering: Whatever happened to Happy Thanksgiving?

While I can understand (if not agree with) the term Happy Holidays as a substitute for Merry Christmas, I am perplexed that Thanksgiving seems to have become a term to avoid.

Case in point: An otherwise cheerful young waitress at lunch today seemed embarrassed and befuddled with my Thanksgiving wishes. She mumbled her echo of my words, but not comfortably.

Has the growing shadow of Godlessness hidden the beauty and the unitive graces of the Thanksgiving holiday? Are we no longer thankful for the great gift of creation and, indeed, our very lives?

I suppose given the increasing numbers of broken homes, the idyllic concept of Thanksgiving dinner is, for many, not possible. But there may be another problem: If we’re going to give thanks as a people, the question becomes, to whom? Since the obvious answer is to God, it seems that our desire to thank God is on the decline. If this really is what’s happening, then we are a people loosing hope.

And so this Thanksgiving, as we Americans pause during our routine weekly schedules to frantically cook, dine, and rekindle old relationships (if we’re lucky enough to do so), let us remember Who it is that in the beginning created a natural order that is both stunning in its beauty and awesome in its complex—but quite simple—majesty.

May God bless you and all your loved ones, and may he watch over those who have no one and nothing this Thanksgiving Day.

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Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.