The Greatest Gift

I didn’t really know what else to say, so I apologized. As I finished my late-November shopping trip, I shared with the cashier my hope that she would enjoy a good Thanksgiving the following day. “I’ll be here for most of it,” was the reply I received. Again, I wasn’t sure what else to say, so I apologized.

At the risk of offending anyone who has organized, promoted or participated in any of these pre-Black Friday (aka Thanksgiving Day) sales, I have to say that I believe we have gone too far. If the post-turkey nap you take on Thanksgiving has you rested enough to make the 4:00am Black Friday lines, more power to you. If the desire to get that bargain price has you motivated enough to embark upon a Thanksgiving day shopping spree, I ask that you consider to what you have given the power.

It is fitting that Thanksgiving falls just before the start of Advent, the season in which we prepare for the coming of our Savior. The timing of Thanksgiving allows us to enter the Advent season with hearts and minds that are both aware and appreciative of the many gifts with which we have been blessed – appropriate given that greatest gift we will receive on December 25th. Disagreements, quarrels and arguments aside, the next greatest gift we have received, after Jesus himself, is the gift of family and friends – those who love us and allow us to love them. My concern with Thanksgiving Day shopping is that it shifts the focus from what we should be giving to what we’ve been led to believe others want to receive. At a time when families should be together, when we should be sharing the gift of ourselves, we instead become concerned with accessories, apps and newest versions.

If you are reading this blog, you are likely a part of the LCA community. A school community. A community that revolves around children. The excitement those children have for Christmas morning stems from the anticipation you build in them. As you consider what gifts you will give, and as you think about what the people in your life, especially the children, really need, realize the gift that is you. Understand the importance not of a game bought, but of a game played together. Recognize the impact not of an upgrade, but of a chance to stay up late, just to talk. See that the greatest enjoyment comes not from what’s found under the tree, but from those who gather around it.

Thanksgiving has passed, but the feelings of appreciation and gratitude for all that we have are needed now, more than ever, as we prepare for Jesus’ birth. Make this time of preparation a time for family, friends and all those, who, like Christ, are blessings in our lives.

~Mr. Michael Fletcher, Dean of Students