When I was younger, I used to feel that holidays were contrived marketing opportunities, seeing all the obnoxious decorations that went up in stores and places of commerce.  But as I’ve gotten older and tried to be more in tune with nature and our food, I have started to appreciate more and more the old wisdom behind the Holy Days.

Moving into winter and cold, dark days (of which we are mostly spared, being so close to the Equator), I think it is the best of times to reflect upon all the blessings and gifts we have received, and bring the warmth from them with us into the colder times.

There is so much to be thankful for – our home, our children, our families, our things, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe – life itself.  We can enjoy the generosity of life and the feeling of gratitude, knowing that yes, it will change, and all gifts will eventually be taken away.

These words have found me this Thanksgiving:

“And you receivers – and you are all receivers – assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives…..For to be ovemindful of you debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.”

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 

Reflections of gratitude, I think, open the heart to receiving even more, because it brings the realization of how much we are all given, everyday. And gifts can also come in surprising ways, in ways that don’t seem good at first.

Sometimes I have tried to give good things that were refused because the person I was trying to give something to was too proud to accept the offer –  And I know that I have sometimes also been too proud.  And how many blessings have I unconsciously ignored or taken for granted?

How can we open our minds and hearts, receive things with grace, and enjoy ALL of our blessings? 

That, I think, is the essence of thrift.

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