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Caught up in the gifts: Thankfulness, gratitude should last through Christmas, not just stop after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful. It’s a time to recognize the good things you have in life.

However, most people don’t think that gratitude extends to Christmas. We get so caught up in all the gifts that we forget that Christmas is about being thankful, too.

The past week and a half before Thanksgiving, I was at my worst. I was dead tired, sick, had a ridiculous amount of makeup work to do, and I also had gotten some bad news. During that time period, it was just constant stress, stress, stress and working hard. I would have loved to get some sleep and get better, but I also did not want my grades to sink.

My situation lasted until Thanksgiving. However, a couple of days before, I was lucky that a speaker came into one of my classes at school. She talked about traveling to a poor country.

I then came to a realization that sure, I may be a zombie, but I have a nice warm house. I may be going through a tough time, but I have very supportive parents and friends. Hey, my schoolwork load is crazy but at least I get to go to school.

I may also have kept my sanity by the fact that I knew I would be all caught up by Thanksgiving break. Really, I don’t know how I did it.

Here in the United States, we are spoiled. Our idea of poverty is completely different than in other countries. We have so many opportunities and programs to help those who are struggling, that sometimes we forget that it isn’t like that everywhere.

The government has welfare so that we don’t have people who are on the brink of starvation and naked in the streets.

On my trip with the exchange students, I talked with my roommate from Germany, and she told me about the gas prices in there. Sure, I guess paying $3 per gallon of gas isn’t quite as good as $1, but it’s a heck of a lot better than paying $9 in Europe.

We have a lot to be thankful here in this country. I believe that Christmas should be a time for carrying on our gratitude from Thanksgiving. We tend to forget about thankfulness at Christmas, but what if we used gratitude as a way to thank the ones we love?

It’s not necessary to deck the living room with a crazy expensive new TV and to go in debt, but acting on a clever, original idea that shows how much you care about someone is nice.

We can thank God for the luxuries He’s given us by giving back to the community. You won’t be missing anything if you spend your Christmas morning handing out meals. In fact, it will be even better.

Instead of getting caught up in the receiving, we can get caught up in the giving, and only then can we truly enjoy Christmas. Christmas is a season to show our love.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.