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 okay 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 television. 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!!
We’d love to hear from you! How do you make sure Thanksgiving isn’t a forgotten holiday in your home? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
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I think your remembrance of Thanksgiving leaves out a lot of the history – including massacres of indigenous villages. If we are really remembering the history of the holiday we ought to remember that, too. After all those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. For reference, right after Christmas is the feast of the holy innocents that remembers the children Herod slaughtered – so not just trying to pick on one holiday. I do think it’s great to celebrate with friends and family and be thankful but we should also be mindful of false historical narratives.
Wonderful post! And a great series of short videos that you linked to!
Nice! Thanks for the good reminders.
thanks for the reminders, Emily! There is still a school teacher hiding inside of you!
one idea: start your eucharisteo journal.
Jot down your 1,000 gifts …before dinner!
Tanya @ The Inspired Budget says
“Because, after all, Christmas is coming. But first… THANKSGIVING!!”
Thank you for this post. This is what I’ve been saying … while getting more disheartened about people who are putting their Christmas trees up in November and using Thanksgiving as a time to stop and fuel up for Black Friday.
So glad you cherish Thanksgiving!
Thank you for posting this – it’s so true! I’m a lover of great deals, but nowhere in my world does a great Christmas deal beat the time I get to spend with my family on THANKSGIVING! It’s a day to be together and truly be thankful for the blessings that my family and I have. I wish more people would take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the long weekend (if you are lucky enough to have one) remembering how lucky we all are!
I had to run to Target to get candy on Halloween and my daughter saw the “Merry Christmas” signs and she was really upset by it. She said, “Why does it say Merry Christmas, it is Halloween.” I didn’t know what to say so I said, “well, why do you think it says Merry Christmas?” She responded loud enough for everyone to hear, “Umm..I don’t think they have a Calendar!” It made me SO HAPPY! I’m a strictly no Christmas until after Thanksgiving girl!
Great timely reminder. Thank you for sharing.
Have you read to beautiful sign on this subject outside Nordstrom’s mall entry? They continue to save their Christmas decorating until the day after Thanksgiving. They prefer their holidays one at a time, as do I.
I love Thanksgiving!
Aaron Lohrer says
Ugh… is it just me or did they start the Christmas music early this year!
Yes!!! They were playing Hershey’s ads with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” the day after Halloween, for Pete’s sake!
Very well said indeed
good stuff…thanks for the reminder 🙂
Absolutely LOVE this! Thank you!
Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs says