Simple Living Works!

How We Celebrate Says a Lot About How We Live

Posted on: November 9, 2013

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Observations on Thanksgiving

If celebrations give voice to the ideals by which we are trying to live, how should we observe Thanksgiving? It may be easier to think first of how we ought not observe it.

Thanksgiving is not be a day for thanking God for affluence while others go hungry. The notion that it is God who gives affluence to some and poverty to many not only ignores the role humans have played in arranging patterns of affluence and poverty but flies in the face of the God of love and justice. Nor should it be a time to claim God’s special blessing on any nation. As a minority religious group, the Pilgrims knew only too well the problems that occur when the interests of God and nation are identified by a dominant religious group.

Thanksgiving is also not be an occasion to romanticize the cooperation between “the Indians” and the settlers, unless to recall in sorrow the subsequent centuries’ genocide of native Americans. Finally, Thanksgiving should not be a day of rest before the two largest shopping days of the year, when giving thanks is swept out the back door so Christmas commercialism can come in the front.

As a day that gives voice to our highest ideals, Thanksgiving can be a time to remember with gratitude and humility that we alone are not responsible for whatever bounty is in our lives. It can be a time to confess that part of our bounty has come at the expense of others, including native Americans, slaves, farm workers, and hosts of others we do not even know. It can also be a time to share what we have with others, and include in our celebrations those who would otherwise be alone.

Finally, Thanksgiving can be a time to commit ourselves to creating a world where hungry children are fed, the homeless are provided with shelter, and those who suffer discrimination because of race, sex, religion, or age are respected.

From Treasury of Celebrations

Buy Nothing Day!

A sermon for Black Friday

Podcast Reminder

Episode 8 of SLW! podcast – Whose Birthday Is it, Anyway? – a radio adaptation of Alternatives’ best-known resource for Advent and Christmas. This episode features: What Does JESUS Want for Christmas? + 10 Free, Fun Things to Do with Your Family at Christmas

Access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent). SUBSCRIBE through  iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service.

To LISTEN, click the player at the top or the bottom of the complete show notes. For previous episodes, see the list toward the bottom of this blog.

To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of the complete show notes, then check “Notify me of new posts by email.”

COMING next episode: one of Alternatives’ audio shorts + 10 Tips for a Simpler, More Meaningful Christmas

SEASONAL HELPS from Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don’t Cost the Earth* — September – December  |  ADVENT  |  CHRISTMAS

Most of Alternatives’ AV resources are part of this “Whose Birthday?” radio series. See episode 6 for a list of SEASONAL HELPS, including links to AV and Text resources. NEW – Advent/Christmas music from Sing Justice! Do Justice!

To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2. We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog four times a week.

Submission guidelines for Whose Birthday? 2013 | Issues 1-24

Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Urge your friends to do the same.

To access individual previous episodes: #1: Getting Acquainted | #2: 5 Life Standards | #3: Saga of Simply Enough | #4: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle-1 | #5: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle-2 | #6: Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?-1 (of 6) | #7: Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?-2

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter.

Share your thoughts at SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com, leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

GRAPHIC: “We Thank You, God, for Who We Are” from Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art for Simpler Living & Global Justice: 3. Celebrating Other Seasons #3-A545

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization.

* Treasury of Celebrationspublished by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake, BC, Canada, best known for its Season of Creation curriculum)

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13 Responses to "How We Celebrate Says a Lot About How We Live"

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