New England Fall ColorIt’s November, and in the U.S. we look forward later this month to one of our national holidays, Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite days. It’s a feast for the senses—the sights, sounds, and smells of family, friends, food, and even football. But it’s also so much more.

Thanksgiving is one day a year that reminds us of who we are to be all year long—grateful people. Grateful for our lives, faith, freedom; grateful for those who’ve loved, cared for, and journeyed with us over the years; grateful for moments of peace, laughter, and the challenges that have strengthened us.

I sense it’s becoming increasingly difficult to practice gratitude in a society that wants us to be super-consumers. Have you noticed how “Black Friday” begins earlier each year? This year we can leave our Thanksgiving tables and rush to the malls at 8:00 p.m. Really? I’m reminded of a quote from the American Catholic author Flannery O’Connor:

 You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you.

So in an attempt to push back against the age of consumerism that’s pushing against me, I’d like to get a jump-start on Thanksgiving by offering some resources here over the next few weeks. I hope they might help to nurture “an attitude of gratitude”, extending Thanksgiving from a single day to a way of life. First up, give yourself the gift of A Good Day by watching this 5-minute video by Br. David Steindl-Rast,OSB. Consider choosing one of the gratefulness practices he shares and incorporate it into your day.