“Are you nuts?” is an expression that developed in the middle of the 19th century possibly because our heads have a shape similar to a nut or possibly because our head is hard on the outside and the important stuff is inside. The phrase can be referring to crazy ideas, actions, and even an institution, “nut house,” for someone with mental illness.
So why focus on this phrase in relation to Thanksgiving? Nuts are the special treats that are put out at occasions like weddings, Thanksgiving, and Christmas meals. They are not the main course, the meat and potatoes, but are a special treat that bring variety and if still in the shell, a challenge to eat. I suspect nuts were more important to the original pilgrims that lived closer to nature than they are to us today.
“I’m nuts about…” can also be an expression of love in a positive way. It can be used to refer to someone or something you really care about and are willing to go to extremes for. It could refer to “falling in love” but equally can refer to a grandparent being nuts about their grandkids and doing all within their power to help them grow up. God was nuts about his creation. In chapter one of Genesis, after each outburst of creativity, God sat back and said, “It is good!” He is so crazy about us that he walked through death to redeem us.
In fact, we have many idioms using “nuts. Merriam-Webster defines “nuts and bolts” as “the working parts or elements” of some gizmo.
Some people may consider Thanksgiving “nuts”, crazy spending money on food for relatives we often do not see, while others go “nuts” preparing an extravagant meal for those they love. But what are the “nuts and bolts” of Thanksgiving? I would propose that we take a moment and stop worrying about all that calls to us and spend time working on our attitude of gratitude for the God who holds our lives, for the people whom we dearly love and even those who are a bit crazy and test our patience – this God and these people are part of our safety net in life. Stopping to say “thank you” is the “nuts and bolts” for facing tomorrow.
1 Thessalonians 5: “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets,[e] 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.”
Maybe nuts are not your thing for celebrations but I pray you are blessed with joy as you prepare. Blessings.