When our three sons were small, Deborah and I decided that we would not tolerate an entitlement attitude in our home. Our remedy? Teach our kids to be thankful.
Entitlement cannot coexist with gratitude.
Entitlement says that parents, businesses, siblings, government, church, life, God, and Santa owe me something. And since I am owed, there is no reason to say thanks.
Thankfulness is like kryptonite to entitlement. Kills it on contact.
And that brings us to Thanksgiving Day. After a hundred years of cities and communities declaring their own thanksgiving celebrations, in 1789 President George Washington proclaimed November 26 "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of ALMIGHTY GOD."
Notice that the original official Thanksgiving Day was not about being generally thankful, but about specifically thanking ALMIGHTY GOD.
Recently Americans have become obsessed with removing all God references from the conversation. With Thanksgiving we have taken that obsession to an absurd level, not only removing God but also removing the idea of thanks from Thanksgiving Day.
Increasingly we are calling the 4th Thursday of November, Turkey Day. Are we afraid that if we call it Thanksgiving, someone might accidentally thank God?
So now, rather than thanking God once a year for His gracious provision, we eat turkey and watch football.