Who gets your thanks this season?

Published 12:19am Sunday, November 20, 2011

In a few days, our country will pause to give thanks for the many blessings that we have. But it’s important to stop and think about something — Whom are we thanking?

Many of us were taught that the first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated their own survival after their first harsh winter in America and a successful harvest that followed in the fall.

Although the initial Thanksgiving feast probably resembles very little of our modern version, the idea of giving thanks is one that cuts through generations.

The celebration was marked throughout America’s early years, though sporadically and mostly by states in the Northeast.

President Abraham Lincoln formalized the American holiday by making Thanksgiving an official national holiday.

And it was Lincoln who clearly put the meaning in perspective when he wrote his 1863 proclamation which included:

“… No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Lincoln delivered these words at the height of the Civil War, a time that certainly turned many American souls looking toward the heavens, both to give thanks and ask for peace and blessings.

Today, however, as most of us think of Thanksgiving, we are far more likely to think about food traditions and shopping exploits than truly giving thanks to our Creator.

Such commercialization begins fairly early in life.

The celebration has been recreated with millions of paper-plate turkeys and grocery-sack Native American costumes in kindergartens and preschools all across our land.

But through all of the cute, construction paper feathers many of us tend to forget the most important aspect of thanksgiving.

We all know we’re supposed to be thankful, but aside from the quick blessing of the food, it’s easy to skip over the heavenly base of this season.

Clearly we all remember — or try to remember — that Jesus is the reason for the season when it comes to Christmas, after all, it is his birthday.

But how many of us allow ourselves to worry more about getting our special holiday food fix than truly giving thanks?

How many of us are more focused on Black Friday sales than simple reverence for the Creator of the universe?

I’m certainly guilty as charged.

This holiday season I made a simple vow to myself: I will not forget who deserves all of the thanks for everything in life.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

  • Anonymous

    Keven, after reading your article I looked above my head at a photo of my little family and so many thoughts ran through my mind. The six letter word ‘thanks’ is such a great word that we use constantly in our everyday life, I sometimes wonder if it is only by force of habit we say “thanks” for so many little things that it becomes so immaterial when we feel big thanks are so redundant. How do you thank someone who eases your pain, gives you comfort when you need it most, is your constant companion and assures you daily that you will never be alone. The words, Thank You GOD, seems so inadequate for all the many blessings he has bestowed upon me, you and even the ones who refuses to accept Him in their lives. . . Flipping that coin, I ask, “Who do we ‘thank’ for the chaotic world we live in today”?  That one little six letter word can be used in so many ways, but, by far, my favorite use is ‘THANK’ YOU GOD for all the good things in my life and please give me patience and understanding for all the rest……  

  • Anonymous

    I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO KNOWN YOU WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP. YOU WANT ME TO TELL YOU WHO destinynatchez is ? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO CHEAT WHEN POSTING COMMENTS. THE OTHERS STAFF MEMBERS STAND BEHIND THERE ARTICLE. I HATE IT WHEN OTHERS TRY TO PLAY TRICKS ON ME. YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE; NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT. BUT BE A MAN. I KNOW YOU HATE ME BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF REPLY I GET FROM YOU ; BUT I DON’T HATE YOU. MAYBE WE CAN SIT DOWN FOR A CUP OF TEA ONE DAY ; OR GO SHOPPING ON BLACK FRIDAY; WE CAN SHOP IN THE COMMUNITY. I SUCK ON RICOLAS BECAUSE OF MY SCRATCHY THROAT.    

  • http://www.funbuscasinotours.webs.com CASINO_BUS_TO_VICKSBURG

    Thanks to all the military women and men who serve our country !!  Special thanks to Army Medic Mimms, my son…

  • Anonymous

    Dave duece, to begin with, the only hate I have is for the evil we have in the world and God directed us to do that. No, I do not hate you, I do not know you, but yet again, you just might be my next door neighbor. I try very hard not to cheat or lie in my comments. I have committed enough sin in my life time that God might not forgive me of any more. If I cannot help you in any way I definitely will never hurt you intentionally. . If I say things the wrong way, please feel free to correct me. I know one small slip of the tongue ( in this instance, the keyboard) can cause irreparable hurt. I find it quite amusing to ‘HIDE’ behind a poster name. I have often pictured many posters in my mind and wondered what she/he might look like. Sometimes I even wonder if it is a he or she. Most of the time I can figure it out through their post by little dropping of words. I have often wondered if I was mentally pictured by others. I don’t know if you would have regarded me as a friend while growing up.  I was spoiled by six older brothers whom I loved dearly and miss very much. They’re all lost to me now and I still grieve their departure, but I have wonderful memories they left me..Mama and Daddy are also gone and I feel alone sometimes, but I have all of you bloggers to look foward to each day. Yes, I am who I am. I think sometimes maybe I messed up GOD’S plan for my life and went willfully on my stupid way of reaching adulthood and much later, maturity. I hope I can correct all my bad ways. 99% of the time reaching adulthood is a snap, but maturity takes much longer. It’s two different things you know. I found that out the hard way. A cup of tea sounds nice, my son just bought me a big jar of different flavored bags and he sits with me and we have a cup every now and again. As for shopping, I’ve had to put a lot that aside due to money shortage. Now only necessities. I thank GOD every day for the roof over my head and a full stomach. Enough about me for today, you have a good happy day.   

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    destinynatchez wrote a sincere comment that I applaude for his faith and conviction from the heart and praising all to our Lord!! I have so much that I’m blessed and thankfull for and thats my family from my wife to my two adult sons and daughter and seven grand children and everyone is healthy and have homes and doing well and not to mention my friends and family members!! I’m thankful for our three dogs that we have had for years and love will you no matter how bad thing are and are great gifts from God to mankind. I thank God for going to his house this a/m  and the priviledge to worship him in a great nation of freedoms. Hope everyone a great and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Try rubbing some Ricolas on the Caplock key. It may help us all.  

  • Anonymous

    Actually I’m still fascinated by the SEMI;;;COLONS;;.  If you noticed, he was able to take them off for destinynatchez is.  So we know that the caps are not actually locked!

  • Anonymous

    I think DaveDeuce has it figured out that destinynatchez is a blind post name for Kevin.  You have to read between the lines and the all caps.

  • Anonymous

    No, no, no, I’m not Kevin. I’ve only had the honor of meeting Kevin through our pre modern tech, the telephone and being self-aware of my own mentality I think maybe you have just insulted the poor man unintentionally, but thanks for the compliment. We once had a commenter on here that loved to come here and insult the other commenter’s any way he could. It took almost a year but I finally figured out who this numskull was. He kept dropping hints, simply because he was so full of himself. No one else had the right to speak their mind, if they did they were wrong in every sense of the word as far as he was concerned. We all were just little minions, (poor peons) under his feet.  I came very close to identifying myself but held back on some things but only enough for him to recognize who I was, at that point he realized I knew him for what he was. When I told him I knew who he was and confronted him about his mean and ugly attitude toward all the commenter’s, and threaten to make him known publicly, well lo and behold, no more comments from him. I’ve always believed you should try very hard to find the goodness in everyone just as I would want them to do for me. I just couldn’t find very much goodness in his comments and was appalled that he chose to speak to all my blogger friends as he did. After all, we all have feelings, have a good day everyone. 

  • Anonymous

    007 has been hinting at this for the past couple of weeks.  Who are you suggesting I may have insulted, Kevin or 007?  LOL

  • Anonymous

    I assume it was an editorial oversight to not publish in the online edition the BOS minutes where they voted to sign a $2MM dollar loan for Elevance, and answer the question about the gambling revenue sharing?  It seems the school board got left out of state law sharing gaming revenues.

  • Anonymous

    When I clicked onto my e-mail I found your post. Don’t you just love DISQUS. It gives us a chance to get back to the commenter’s on the same subject. Regarding your question, I don’t know about 007 but I can almost bet that Kevin is having a good laugh about anyone comparing the two of us. His intelligence is far greater than mine so I have to laugh about it too. I have thought about you quite often when reading your post and mentally picturing you sitting out under a shade tree enjoying nature in it’s most simple forms. I like that in people, the ones who take the time to recognize the wonders of God’s creation. I have enjoyed your comments and insight on many subjects. Please keep’em comming.  We did at one time have many wonderful people that would comment, but some people became so vicious with their ugly comments that the good people stopped commenting and I miss them very much. As I stated once it makes my day to come to the comment section and read every one’s thoughts about our little community and what’s happening around us. Most of the time you can find out more news than the paper has room to print or maybe it’s just not news worthy for everyone. I can understand the paper’s stance on that. I’m very grateful that Kevin and his staff gives us this opportunity to communicate daily. To me it makes for a better day other than all the negative circumstances that surround us daily. Have a happy day.

  • Anonymous

    It is my understanding that Natchez pretty much gave up everything to get that first casino to locate there, for the jobs.  It is also my understanding that if Natchez does get a new casino and it poses serious competition for Isle of Capri, they will pull up and go elsewhere.  There is really no market for two casinos and Isle execs are not fighters.

    I hope I’m wrong but Elevance makes me nervous.  Heavily into the taxpayers purse.

  • Anonymous

    If the new casino comes through and Isle leaves, it may be an upgrade and as you say, get the taxes (everything) back that possibly were given up for the Isle/Lady Luck?  I’m not a casino goer, but I understand the Isle has pretty much gone downhill over the past years of wear and tear.  Agree with you the market is soft to support two of them.  I also hope Elevance is not another Solyndra, but hey – our port will have a $2MM upgrade!, to serve future businesses?  Now, if we can get Adams County to correct the port webpage about construction scheduled to be completed in 1999, we are in business.