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It would be true to say that this year, I am unusually and thankfully twice blessed. Thanksgiving is a great US tradition, steeped in history, but now stands for family get togethers and meals, where college students make the long journey home to be with Mum, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, and as many of the wider family circle as possible. It works a treat for close knit families, and will stand the teens in good stead for the winter months of study that lie ahead!

Within a month, (one of) the greatest celebrations in the Christian’s year comes round. Next to Resurrection Sunday, Christmas calls us to remember and enjoy the birth of the Baby Jesus who grew up to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins some 33 years later. I am unashamedly a Christmas guy. I can take or leave the commercial trappings in the shops, and the piped seasonal music, and even the exchange of gifts, but for me it becomes a time of thanks once again with family meals around the same big food covered table, but mostly keeping in mind the reason for the season. Not so much food or gifts or even family, great as they all are, but to give God our praise for the gift of His Son into a poor and humble family unit, who by today’s standards had nothing. Mary and Joseph did however, in their worldly poverty, get to hold and raise the baby who is always God’s Son, and the King of Kings.

This year, I get to spend a special ‘ThanksMas’ combination with some of those I love. Those ones I don’t always get the chance to be with, or sit across a table from. Those whom I can dine with and exchange gifts with, in thankfulness and humility. So from my heart to yours, Happy Thanksgiving, and when it comes round for you, may you have a Happy and Blessed Christmas.

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