We all know how, every year, it feels like Christmas songs and decorations are encroaching earlier and earlier. It’s August 1, and Walmart has FREE HOLIDAY LAYAWAY commercials on TV. And yes, that is Walmart, and Walmart is soulless. But this is happening across the board.
Before Halloween is over, I started to see holiday decorations in stores and popup ads online. First thing Saturday morning, November 1, all Halloween and autumn items are exiled to the 50% Off Clearance racks, and Christmas is in full swing. Garlands, carols, lights, rotating singing snowmen. It’s all here and out and READY!
Now, I love Christmas and the Holiday season as much as anyone (well, not as much as Sabrina, but who could?). But what happened to fall? Autumn? THANKSGIVING? And worst of all, our commercialism has turned our relaxing family time holiday into BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING-PALOOZA! Now starting at 8pm Thanksgiving Night! UGH!!! People completely forget being grateful and go full swing into trampling, punching to get that last toy, sleeping outside in line to be the first ones inside…
As a kid, Thanksgiving was just another giant family dinner, sitting at the cousin table, playing games and getting yelled at not to run in the house…. Giant family dinners? My family used to roll like that every few weeks for monthly family birthday parties. Maybe more autumn-themed food, but I didn’t look forward to Thanksgiving the way all kids pine for Christmas. It was fine. It was dinner at Grandmom’s and Grandpop’s. Being grateful? Yeah, I grew up going around the table, saying what we were grateful for that day every night.
But now, as an adult, I find that Thanksgiving is just as meaningful as Christmas, and much calmer, less stressful, and more affordable!
For my family, holidays = family. And while both Thanksgiving and Christmas are food-filled, family-designated days, I have found that I have more time to sit back and enjoy my family on Thanksgiving. There are no distractions of shuffling gifts – did you get this, I left this in the car, is that your size, do you already have that – I am not running off to 4 other family gatherings (yes people, 4), and I can just enjoy the people I am with, catch up, enjoy food and wine, reminisce, and share stories of lost loved ones.
I am no longer focused on gifts, who got me what, did I get what I asked for, how many thank you cards do I need to write (and yes, Mom, I always write thank you cards). Now, I am on Pinterest thinking of food I can bring to gatherings, how I can participate, looking forward to seeing cousins who have grown up and moved away, or are off at college, out of towners, and new significant others.
I would ask everyone to give Thanksgiving its due time, for it is a peaceful day of remembrance of our blessings and our families. Don’t rush past it. (I am not saying you cannot start shopping for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, just don’t go free fall into tinsel quite yet).