The evenings have grown so much longer as this winter season comes to a pinnacle, and at 4:30 pm I drive through my suburban neighborhood with my headlights gleaming. I look around me to spy the twinkling Christmas lights that have begun springing up at each of the houses I come to pass. But wait, isn't it still November?
In recent years it seems as though the joyous holiday of Thanksgiving has taken a backseat to the impending holiday season. Pumpkins and gourds are thrown away just after Halloween, and are replaced by blow-up Santas and lines of glowing reindeer on the neighboring lawns surrounding our house. On this holiday that celebrates our family, friends, and an abundant feast, however, I think it's important to take a moment (or several moments, perhaps) to consider Thanksgiving for what it is, as opposed to being so worked up about what is to come next month- and, for that matter, the following day.
Believe me, it may sound like it, but I'm no Scrooge. I LOVE the Christmas season: the music, decorations, cookie-making, even the hustle and bustle. To hold out on the celebration, however, is to create even more wonderful anticipation for the event.
To consider such a remarkable holiday as Thanksgiving (or, not consider it at all) to be a part of Christmas is to undervalue its importance as an individual day to recognize the things that we are the most thankful for.
I am thankful for my family: my mom, dad, and sister; in-laws who are wonderful (rare, I know); a phenomenal husband whom I adore, a beautiful and bright daughter, my awesome extended family who, though I may not get to see often enough, always put a smile on my face.
I am thankful for my friends: those with whom I've been close to since we were young; my buddies from high school; those I met at college and beyond.
I am thankful for the things that are represented by the bountiful harvest: the food that we are able to eat every day, our home, our health, and so many of the “things” that I tend to take advantage of having.
So, as I get to my own home, still bedecked by corn stalks and cornucopias, I realize that perhaps I am not “behind the times,” just being thankful in the moment.