A house with Christmas lights. Blue and white icicle lights. Bushes covered in multi colored lights.
Christmas lights. Turned on. In early November.
I'd read Suldog's post about taking back Thanksgiving from Christmas- fighting to keep it first. I enjoyed but wasn't really planning to participate.
Until I saw a house with Christmas lights all lit up on November 11. 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. 6 weeks before Christmas.
Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite holidays. I love the food, the gathering of family. I love that it is a day to relax and enjoy people you love. I am fortunate that it is such a positive holiday for me. Christmas is not allowed to take any of that from me. I love Christmas. I love the entire holiday season. For me, the "holidays" start with Halloween and go into Thanksgiving, then into Christmas, New Year's, and end with Jeff's birthday (Jan 2). Right now, I'm all about just enjoying fall and getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'm not making Christmas shopping lists, I'm not planning out decorations or desserts or baking or anything else. I'm focused on Thanksgiving. I'm focused on family, gratitude, turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and hopefully a chocolate cream pie (or two).
I have to admit that I don't have a lot of memories of Thanksgiving from my childhood. My Thanksgiving memories tend to start in my early teen years. I think one of the things I really value about Thanksgiving now is that the traditions are set. We drive to my mom's on Thanksgiving morning and spend the day. In my growing up years, I remember traveling to Pennsylvania to be with my dad's family. I remember Thanksgiving in Chicago with my mom's sister and some extended family from that area. I don't remember Thanksgiving being in our home- we always traveled somewhere. But now, Thanksgiving means going home. Thanksgiving means watching my brothers play with my kids. Talking with them about life, school, girlfriends, the future. Spending time with my Aunt Martha and Uncle Jesse. This year, my grandparents will be part of our Thanksgiving gathering. The faces may change but the love is the same.
Thanksgiving is often celebrated and taught to be the coming together of the Pilgrims and the Indians for a feast, a sharing of the harvest. The Pilgrims had arrived and settled in time for winter. It was a hard winter and half of those who had made the journey didn't survive the harsh conditions. So these remaining 30 or so people are facing spring in a new land, having suffered injury, ilness and loss. They are approached by Indians from nearby tribes- Squanto being the most well known in our history books. The Indians teach the Pilgrims how to live on this new land- farming, fishing, land cultivation, and so on. That fall, when the first harvest proved successful, the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends to a celebratory feast. The first Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a holiday designated to be about gratitude and sharing of our blessings. That's what I really love about Thanksgiving. When you look back at that first Thanksgiving, I think there are so many lessons to be learned there. So I'm going to keep Thanksgiving first. I'm going to stay focused on gratitude, family, blessings, sharing. Christmas will come in due time and will have many weeks of celebration before the big day. I'm making every effort to stay focused on Thanksgiving for the weeks ahead of its big day.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that I feel good about. Thanksgiving gives me the warm fuzzies. Thanksgiving is the reason for this Feel Good Friday.