A Thanksgiving Message from ALSM’s President & CEO


When you think of Thanksgiving, what images come to mind? Turkey? Ham? Pumpkin pie? Mince pie? Family around the table? Football? Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? This year likely will not find families around the table. Small turkeys are in demand. Football comes with a sound track, and the parade will pass through sparsely populated streets. Nothing is normal.

I sit here in front of my computer feeling this year has been a constant game of “Whack a Mole.” Each day seems to have brought a new challenge: an infection here, an exposure there, an absence of hugs, days that seem thirty hours long, a new round of Covid tests, new regulations.

Now, as we enter the holiday season, we try to “normalize” the season, a challenge in itself. But I have a suggestion, an alternative to normalizing. Let’s extend the season! I have always been a bit wary of identifying one day a year as Thanksgiving. Shouldn’t we practice and express gratitude every day?

I suggest that giving thanks to God is important because it honors God. The Scriptures call for constant and consistent gratitude, especially the Psalms. One of my favorites is this passage from Psalm 100:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

And his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.

Gratitude enhances our experience of all the good things in our lives. Gratitude helps us handle the difficult trials in life with dignity, and sometimes even humor. We can savor gratitude, like our Thanksgiving feast. We can immerse ourselves in it. Most importantly, giving thanks to God renews our connection with the Almighty.

I intend to take several minutes each day this week–and for many weeks to come–to reflect on my blessings. And I must remind myself that among my blessings is the opportunity to serve at a time more challenging than I could have imagined a year ago.

May you and your loved ones express your gratitude for all the blessings that God has bestowed on you, and may your Thanksgiving be truly happy.

In his service,

Patricia W. Savage