For the past two weeks, anytime I set foot in a store with my 3-year old daughter, I always get the same hushed, awe-filled question from her, “Mama, is Christmas coming?” Usually her eyes are glazed over, focusing on the enormous plastic reindeer spinning from the ceiling or the fake presents full of wrapped-up possibilities.
I usually respond with something like, “Yes, it’s coming… but first, THANKSGIVING!!” in my best excited-mom voice.
Then yesterday, we dashed through the rain and into the mall. Macy’s return & small coffee for me. Play area & hand sanitizer for the kids. Other than the dead fish floating in the koi pond that slightly traumatized my daughter, we were all in a happy, festive mood. Families were rushing toward their photo shoot in perfectly coordinating outfits while Christmas music wafted through the sound system. Large trees were decorated with basketball-sized ornaments while Santa’s helpers worked their way through the line of terrified children. Ahhh, Christmas.
Wait… Did I miss something? Thanksgiving is still coming, right? I checked my calendar. Yep, I’m good. Still a few more days before I need to make pumpkin bars. I didn’t miss it; it just wasn’t there to see.
Other than those Facebook friends who are gushing with thankfulness (reason #15: Great visit to the dentist. My cat doesn’t have cavities!) and the grocery stores who are capitalizing on it (Spend $150 at Fred Meyer, get the turkey for free!), Thanksgiving is a forgotten holiday.
It is not marked with much hoopla, unless you count the midnight shopping that immediately follows it. For the most part, Thanksgiving is not a top priority for advertisers and retailers. They prefer to skip directly from Halloween to Christmas. Giving thanks just isn’t very lucrative.
Today, I decided that I am ok with that.
Who cares if there are no inflatable turkeys or emotional Hallmark movies? Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving in our own way.
Learn about the Pilgrims and the Indians and that first feast that held so much promise after so much heartbreak. Maybe you are having a tough time finding a job right now? Hang in there. It took the Pilgrims years to establish a life for themselves. Tired of your rice-and-beans grocery budget? It sure beats starvation on a soggy ship. So the last Lego set is whisked off that Black Friday Target shelf before you find a parking spot within two miles of the store? Relax. At least you don’t have scurvy.
Teach gratitude to your children and practice it yourself. Help those who are struggling. Meet your neighbors. Bake cookies. Laugh with your children. Jump in a pile of leaves. Mail a card to an elderly relative. Turn off the tv. Call your sister. Volunteer your time. Read a book. Expand your guest list to include those with nowhere to go. Take a walk. Give to a food bank or homeless shelter. Play a board game with your family. Thank a soldier. Take a nap. Slow down. Celebrate.
Soak up and pass along all this holiday has to offer.
Because, after all, Christmas is coming. But first… THANKSGIVING!!
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