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Thanksgiving Day TV was filled with marathons. The western marathons. The “Cold Case” marathon. The Alfred Hitchcock marathon. Football marathon. “Charmed” marathon. “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” marathon.
While marathons may be really fun traditions, they don’t say much about the actual reason for the day itself. That’s why I was so happy to see (and share with my family) the gratitude moments that the NFL provided during its games.
One example came from Gwendolyn Jennings, mother of wide receiver Mark Jennings of the Green Bay Packers. “We celebrate at our home in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” she said, “We sit around the table just have a good time thanking God for the things he’s done for us, things that we would be thankful for…for family, and just being together.
“Family is important,” she continued, “it’s our lifeline.”
Somewhere between the eating, the drinking and the shopping, the root of Thanksgiving is to take time to be thankful. That means knowing what we’re thankful for and identifying who we’re thankful to. Mrs. Jennings—as well as several other families of players—provided wonderful reflections that returned all of us in the audience to the real reason for the holiday. They weren’t overly religious. They weren’t overly preachy.
They were just honest acknowledgments of faith-based thanksgiving that made it onto network TV in a really nice way. We need more of that, not just on the one holiday weekend.

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