Tuesday, November 23, 2010

These are the holidays that you celebrate that we don't: President's Day, MLK day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, FAther's Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving. We have no three or four day holidays. Each holiday is for one day only. These are the holidays that we celebrate that you don't: Tanzania Independence Day, eId.
That just leaves Christmas and Easter, but our Christian religious holidays do not involve gift giving, decorations (except inside the churches), parties, Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, and all the commercialism that goes with them. So, we basically have one national holiday and four religious holidays--two Christian and two Muslim--that are celebrated quietly in churches and mosques. No Christmas trees, no tinsel, no Christmas lights, no decorated stores, no sales, no office parties, no Sunday School parties--hmmm, kinda like the first Christmas--just believers gathered in groups praising God. We are the uncivilized, third world Christians. I like it this way better. No depression, no suicides, no going into crushing debt. For Christmas there are three church services, one the day before, one Christmas day, and one the day after. Two of these three involve multiple churches of the same denomination and of mixed denominations. I do miss Thanksgiving, though. It was always my favorite American holiday. I loved the emphasis on family gathering, food, and no gift giving. Some of my best memories are of Thanksgivings. This Thanksgiving remember the one thing no one or no thing can ever take from you--relationships. Relationships are forever, good, bad, or indifferent, they never go away. Your relationship with God, with Christ, with each other, with family, with loved ones, with friends--this is your wealth, this is your strength, this can and will sustain you if you allow it. Spend some quiet time thanking God for all your relationships and the memories of those who are no longer with you physically, but with whom you still have a relationship. My father is no longer here, but he was, is, and always will be my father--nothing can change that.
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