As we gear up for Green Friday – our kinder, gentler version of “Black Friday” – the festive season that begins with Thanksgiving brings with it a lot of reflections. The first thought for many of us might be, “Is it that time of year already?” The seeming increase in the speed of the years reminds us to be more conscious, more aware, more thankful every day.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Seasons and rhythms serve as reminders. If we tried to pay attention to everything every day, we’d never make it, so human history shows us examples, as far back as we can see, of the efforts people made to observe, remember, or celebrate the things of value. Home, family, security, faith, growth, and the gifts of posterity – the sense that something of us will carry on after us. All these are the subjects of holidays and sacraments and special occasions. Many of them are so customary that we face the hazard of forgetting what they’re all about. Some have even gathered so many trappings that their real purpose might be obscured.

The Peace of Thanksgiving

A friend who spent his career in a notoriously high-pressure industry says that Thanksgiving became his favorite holiday by a wide margin during that time. “You could always count on four days, for one thing,” he said. Depending on what day December 25th fell in a given year, Christmas could range from hurried to frantic. The fact that Thanksgiving didn’t involve fighting crowds or carrying gifts through airports for a far-flung family also probably played a part.

The comparative calm and focus, the peace of Thanksgiving offers a more reflective kind of holiday, perhaps uniquely so. The origin story of Pilgrims and Indians and fellowship reminds us of connections. Of the idea that while our goals and visions might be individual, realizing them is rarely done alone.

It’s a fact that’s with us year-round, although we may welcome the reminder. Connection is an idea that clearly was in the mind of Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser, when he designated a gathering spot here, in the middle of “the Miracle Mile.” Residents, seasonal visitors, and guests alike come here to The Shops at Sea Pines Center to get a feel for what’s going on.

Opening the Heart and Mind

What’s going on, when we see the bigger picture, is finding that we are among friends. We can relax, lower our guard. And some kinds of magic seem to happen then. Ever notice how more good things follow when we’re happy about what we’ve got? People who give a lot of thought to that kind of thing say that gratitude and grace are linked together – speaking of connections. And by grace, this time we mean good things coming from beyond our own reach. The Shops at Sea Pines Center are wishing you the finest holiday season in memory.