By Norma J. Kirkpatrick

By the time my children could walk and talk, I began to teach them the importance of saying “thank you.” I told them I didn’t do nice things for people who didn’t say “thank you.”  That really wasn’t entirely true.  I had met plenty of adults whose mamas had not taught them to say “thank you.” I went ahead and did nice things for those people anyway because they didn’t know any better.
My children are grown now, and they still say “thank you;” it was a lesson that took.
Thanksgiving Day will be here soon. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863. Just think of all that has happened throughout those years in America. Good times, bad times, war times, economic depression, times of peace and prosperity. What a different personality each Thanksgiving presented, depending upon those up and down circumstances.  Some were somber and serious; others jubilant with rejoicing. I guess we need a special day to remind us to say “thank you,” just in case we have forgotten what our mamas taught us.
Thanksgiving Day is a good time to ease up on the pedal and slow down, giving thought to all of the reasons we are thankful. And though it is not the holiday of new resolutions, it is a great time to adopt a “thanks living” life. Turn up the corners of your mouth into a smile and make saying “thank you” a natural reflex. Say it to the tired waitress, the harrowed teacher, the post person, your neighbor, your child and your spouse. Say “thank you” when someone opens a door for you, or picks up something you dropped, or gives you a compliment.
Your thanks, is like saying, “I see you.” Your good service or kind acts were out of the ordinary. Your thoughtful words were a gift you did not have to give me.”
Have you ever done something for someone that took a lot of effort and energy, maybe even some money, and they just acted as if it was nothing? They showed no sign of appreciation.  It really hurts to be taken for granted, doesn’t it? Just those two little words I taught my children to say would have warmed your heart with satisfaction.
Some people will have less than others on this Thanksgiving Day. Apart from that, whether your situation in life is meager, moderate or bountiful; whether you are healthy or sick, young or old, I pray you will have the love of friends and family, shelter, warm clothes and food to eat.  It is not the amount that matters but that we have those things at all. Whatever our circumstances, let each of us join together, bow our heads in a spirit of reverence, and thank God for life and all of the blessings we have received. Don’t do it so God will do nice things for you but offer a prayer of gratitude from the heart because they have already been done for you.
May we never take our heavenly Father for granted. Say, “thank you,” to God.  Thank you!
That will make it a true Thanksgiving Day.
Norma J. Kirkpatrick is a Wordsmith; having contributed to teaching materials, magazines and newspapers.  She also collaborates with authors on literary projects and writes an occasional poem.  She can be reached at