Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

New Traditions

Well, we made it through the 2nd holiday of the season…two more to go. I counted Halloween as the first though I’d rather not! Then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I wonder why they all seem to congregate at the end of the year plus there is all the year-end financial rush to be sure our donations get in on time. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have them spaced out a bit? I know I am not the first to suggest this – and you see what happened. Nothing.

The Pilgrim’s are reported to have landed in Massachusetts, either Plymouth Rock or Cape Cod, in November so having Thanksgiving in November seems apropos. President Lincoln established it as the 4th Thursday in November. Halloween follows the Church’s calendar for All Saints Day, November 1st. Jesus was not born in December but more likely in April. So we could celebrate Christmas and Easter closer together. 


But it is what it is. All the holidays jumbled up together at the end of the year. I guess I have to deal with it!

I had a lovely Thanksgiving. I text-ed my siblings since I could not be with them and knew they would be too busy to answer the phone. Since my children were not home – off visiting their in-laws – I was able to serve at the local “soup kitchen”. What a joy that was! These humble people were so appreciative of all they received. One man brought his harmonica and guitar to play for those gathered before he got his own lunch – giving what he could. I complemented him on his playing and the smile that spread across his face was wide and appreciative. Families came. Couples. Singles. Old. Young. Some well-spoken, others couldn’t speak English, others butchered it. Some were washed and well-dressed. Others were dirty and poorly dressed. As I served them I wanted to look each one in the eye and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. When I looked out over “dining room” decorated with colorful plastic table cloths and lovely centerpieces, I couldn’t help but think that that is just exactly where Jesus would be. We were “entertaining angels unaware”. (Hebrews 13:2)


I did not darken the door of a store and was perturbed by the opening of our local Kmart at 6:00 AM on Thursday morning. But then I thought about it. While the women were in the kitchen preparing the meal, now the men and children could go on some shopping errands rather than stand around wondering when dinner would be ready or getting in the way in the kitchen. Shopping on Thursday morning could become a new tradition in the home. Send the men out with the kids to buy the women gifts. (I know all that sounds sexist…but it could easily the women taking the children out to buy the men gifts…) Thanksgiving is a good time to be thankful for our many blessings and I do hope you paused in all the activity to give thanks from a grateful heart.

Did any of you do anything different this year? Did it work for you? Let me know.




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