Are We Really Done Giving Thanks?
I love holidays. I always have. I grew up in a home where we threw parties or get-togethers simply because it was Saturday and we could. So, holidays were close to epic.
This Halloween, the Crossfit gym I go to threw a party that I attended, and then my teenage daughter threw a huge party at our house the next day. It was crazy. And awesome. And exhausting. I loved it.
Two days after Halloween, once I’d recovered from all the weekend’s festivities, I got bundled in warm, yummy clothes (since now it’s cold enough to wear them, thank you, Jesus) and I happily went in search of Thanksgiving decorations. November is my favorite month of the year. I’m a red, orange, and yellow lovin’ kind of girl. However, I came home in tears. Literally. I could not find any decorations, anywhere! Every single thing was Christmas.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas as much as the next gal. I got married at Christmas. I’m practically an elf from December 1st until the 26th. But I just cannot wrap my head around how we have decided to completely skip Thanksgiving. There aren’t even pumpkins for sale anymore! It’s harvest time still, isn’t it? Not Christmas tree time. Not yet. I read on social media the other day that someone already had their tree up. This, I simply cannot fathom.
And it’s more than the decorations. It’s the spirit of things, or lack thereof, that bothers me. November is a time to focus on what we have, not what we want or think we need. It’s a time of thanks that prepares our hearts for Christmas, which is supposed to be a season of giving rather than just receiving.
I cannot control or change my world is doing around me. But I can be intentional in my home and in my own heart. So for me, November will be about the following:
1) Looking at all I have, not all I think I need or want – I am going to spend this month saving. Being aware of not purchasing but rather noticing what I already have and using it. Believe me, I’m the queen of seeing something shiny when I’m out and about in my day and my first thought is, “I must have this!” But if I’m honest with myself, I have something similar at home that is more than sufficient.
2) Looking around to see what others need – Do I have a friend I could bring a meal to one night because her kids have been sick and she’s exhausted? Is there a teacher at my kids’ school who just might need an atta girl or atta boy in the form of a card or Starbucks gift card for a cup of coffee? Nothing makes me more grateful than when I stop thinking about myself and think about those around me.
3) Focus on my own heart and home – I don’t begrudge those who want to decorate for Christmas now. I really don’t. If that’s their joy, I certainly don’t want to steal it. But I believe Thanksgiving is a greater purpose than just eating tons of food and watching football with Grandpa. (Which I love to do. Not knocking it.) It’s about getting our hearts in the right place. And if we skip it and go right into Christmas, then that season isn’t as special anymore. And we miss our chance to get our focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and experienced, but not necessarily for months at a time. Otherwise, they lose their sense of wonder, in my opinion. They aren’t special anymore. I want Thanksgiving to be special. Acknowledged. Celebrated. Just as much as Christmas.
I’m thankful today for my family, for my friends. I’m thankful for my health and for my home. I’m thankful for challenges that make me stronger and days where things are all in sync. And I’m thankful for Thanksgiving. (And that I did find some cute Thanksgiving decorations at a little décor shop near my house. Best. Day. Ever.)
What are you thankful for this harvest holiday season?