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As we approach Thanksgiving Day, many are wondering how they will celebrate their traditional family gathering. We have been warned by scientists and infectious disease experts to not gather in large indoor crowds. What can we do? For starters, think about why we celebrate Thanksgiving and who are we giving thanks to?

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It began as a day of giving thanks with a celebratory feast for the blessing of the harvest of the preceding year. Now it is also a day we gather to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, and for the blessings that will come. It is a day that we tell our friends and family to have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind each other of the many reasons to be grateful. Whether you are gathered around the table or crafting a Thanksgiving blessing for a card, remind yourself of the graciousness of God. Happy Thanksgiving messages and well wishes will help you count your blessings this season and remind you that you have so much to be thankful for even in these unprecedented times.

The world seems to have been turned upside down with an unforeseeable future for all of us as scientists struggle finding a vaccine that will mitigate the COVID-19 virus.  However, innovative organizations have devised new ways for safe social gatherings using online streaming services, such as Facebook and Zoom.  For larger outdoor events, you now see drive-in gatherings, such as churches holding “parking lot services.”

Let me remind you, however, that a drive-in gathering is not something new.  There was a time in our society when drive-in theaters were popular places where families gathered to watch movies and have fun. They watched comedies like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, science fictions films like “When the World Stood Still,” musical shows like Elvis Presley’s “Jail House Rock” and westerns, such as “One-eyed Luke” starring Marlon Brando.

So, how will you celebrate Thanksgiving? Allow me to suggest that you find creative ways to gather as a family and give thanks to God while complying with the health guidelines about gathering in large crowds, keeping social distancing, and wearing a mask. One important tip to remember is to Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten