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What to Serve for Thanksgiving: Leisure, with a Side of Rest

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"Woman entering 14th Street Church" by Sally Davies

Leisure is the freedom-loving play pal of solitude; the opportunity for anything to happen because we can do whatever we want.  We have been divinely created to rest and play, at least on the seventh day, and always on holidays, especially Thanksgiving.  We need to serve and enjoy leisure on Thanksgiving because there’s no way to feel thankful without it.

Sign of an Unhappy Thanksgiving

The clearest sign of an Unhappy Thanksgiving is dreading where you have to go and what you have to do.  It’s dreadful because it’s not what you really want to do – which might be spend the day in bed with good food, books, and movies.  It’s also soulfully dreadful because it takes away what holidays are ordained divinely to do:  Give us rest.  If you are already dreading Thanksgiving, it’s not too late to serve yourself some leisure.  Make sure you have at least one day to do nothing but rest and play.

Sign of a Happy Thanksgiving

The clearest sign of a Happy Thanksgiving for many is the best of both worlds – a fun mixture of friends, family, and food, with free days to play.  We need to worship our lives that way.  Naps get taken. Letters get written. Gods get worshipped.   Vacations get taken.  Great books are read and written.  Oceans, lakes, and flea markets are visited.  Angels appear as helpful strangers.  You never know what will come of a leisurely day, and the only way to find out is to have one.  Then you’ll know how Happy Thanksgiving can be.

Worship your Life with Leisure

We all need to cultivate the attitude of Gods who made Sabbath days of rest and play holy; leisure time in which we allow anything to happen.  So don’t kill leisure with non-stop activity.  That’s no fun.  Follow the gut instinct of intuition and do whatever you want. Breathe deep, let your spirit roam free, and you will see so clearly all you have to be thankful for.  Worship your life with leisure this weekend, enjoy the food and company of loved ones, and give yourself a Happy Thanksgiving.

Until next week, think about this:  “Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have ignited the flame within us.”  --Albert Schweitzer

Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She's also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at KarolJackowski.com.

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Comments (5)

  • Beautifully written! I like how you described the signs of an unhappy Thanskgiving. I think it's easy to become out of touch with your feelings when there is a big sense of obligation looming over head.

    Thank you, too, for reminding me of the importance of leisure. With a few days of not having to run my kids around, I'll be mindful not to pack up those empty spaces and just see where the day takes us.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Erin: It'll probably be the Happiest Thanksgiving ever. Enjoy.

  • Ever since I retired I live Thanksgiving almost every day. When I fell last year and shattered my leg I finally began to worship my God-life within....oh happy fall. I just didn't have it articulated so well. Thanks, Karol.

  • Thank you Karol,
    Force is so built into our lives that it takes away the space for gratitude. You remind us to keep the "have to's" at bay for at least a day.
    Happy Thanksgiving to All!

  • Oh Karol, I so wish I had read this before going home for Thanksgiving!!..It was so wonderful to see my 92 year old Mother,but, then I had to deal with my brother!!..Last year was so much stress free....I spent the day alone,perfectly happy,and, made a frozen pizza for dinner!!!..I was in heaven!..I so miss you sister!..But, I look forward to your words every week!!..Sending much love to my Mad Sister!!..Love and Miss You!!!,,,K

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