Please Don’t Forget the Joy of Thanksgiving…

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven”

Those of you who have followed me through the years know of my love for Thanksgiving. I really can’t remember how many years I have been hosting it but it’s been a lot! I remember the first Thanksgiving meal I made and even though it wasn’t the greatest, I was only 18 and it was pretty darn good considering that! I do recall that the love of this holiday started long before that. There is just something so special about it that no other holiday can capture.

When I was growing up we always went to either my Aunt’s or my Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. The memories are STILL embedded in my brain in total detail. The smells, the comforts, getting to see my cousins, and just the sheer happiness I always felt that day. I remember getting out of the car when we got there, which was pretty quick since we didn’t wear seatbelts lol, and smelling the food cooking outside before we even got in the door. It was an instant flood of joy literally through my soul. Now I LOVE Christmas just as much, but you have to agree, that between the Christmas movies, the decorating, the stores being flooded with Christmas retail before HALLOWEEN has even happened, it has really begun to thoroughly overshadow Thanksgiving more and more every year…..and it makes me so very sad.

Thanksgiving is so special for so many reasons. I love it’s simplicity. I love how old fashioned it is without anyone even realizing it. So, what IS Thanksgiving….really? We learn about it’s beginning when we are in school. It’s history we all know, with the Pilgrims, the Native Americans and the Mayflower. I think we celebrate it every year not even realizing what a gem it is. What a joyful and blessed tradition those special people created for us. It is truly one of the most underrated, simple, and old fashioned, traditions still alive and well in this world. Unfortunately, today we have lost sight of some of our most traditional pastimes, that we need to remember and get back to before it’s too late. We owe it to our youth to hold on to these special traditions so they can pass them down as well.

If you stop and think about it, what is complicated about Thanksgiving? Well, NOTHING! That’s the beauty of it! Let me explain it the way my kids like me to explain things…my GROWN kids…We cook…we eat…we watch football…we sleep…we clean up…we go home. That simple! Can we say that about any other holiday? Nope! And it’s all in ONE day! There is no gift giving, no shopping deadlines, no trees to decorate or to bring home from the tree lot, no worrying about Aunt Mildred giving you that look because she didn’t like the gift you gave her, (well, she could still give you that look if she doesn’t like the way you cooked the turkey :)) no stringing lights on the house and fighting about it or falling off the ladder, no fighting people at the stores, (WELL.. I guess THAT could still happen if you and 3 other people have just realized there is only one turkey left in the cooler…ya know, supply chain and all) no endless wrapping…are you getting my point? It’s just as simple as it gets. Now, if you are the one that hosts it, maybe not so much….but, it’s still easier than Christmas, in my opinion. Yes, we have to meal plan, do some decorating, (well, some of us go a little crazy in that department, but if you are a NORMAL person you do SOME decorating haha) shop for what you need, etc. But, so much can be done ahead so on the day of, it just flows! I explain how I do this in an article I wrote a few years ago about entertaining in the Fall.

So…I guess what I am trying to say is PLEASE don’t get so consumed with Christmas every year that you let it overshadow the absolute beauty and simplicity of Thanksgiving. It’s sad how some people can’t wait for Thanksgiving to be over so they can rush to the “pre-Black Friday sales” before their Thanksgiving meal has even had a chance to digest! And if that’s your jam, and it makes you happy, than who I am to judge? I am just fighting for a tradition that modern times and the retail world want to push further and further away. The stores aren’t going anywhere and neither are the sales. I remember when people who worked in retail and food got Thanksgiving off because EVERYTHING was closed. I even remember almost running out of gas on one of our Thanksgiving trips because there were no gas stations open!

And, as for putting up Christmas decor before Thanksgiving…I am for it, but then I’m not. Let me explain… I used to put all my Christmas decorations up starting November 1. It made everything so much easier! You had SO much time to put it up and it was ALL done by mid November and then you could enjoy it longer. But…then I started hosting Thanksgiving and I just could not do it anymore! Remember the “smells” I was telling you about? Well, all the beauty of that goes right out the icy frosted window when it’s mixed with pine and peppermint!!!! It feels UNNATURAL! Also, when you put up 6-10 trees there isn’t much room for 20-30 people to eat turkey! Santa is ho-ho-hoing, reindeer are flying around, Christmas music is humming from all the snow globes and mechanical snowmen. Now the small children are confused because they see trees and Santa’s and are wondering why all they get is a chair at some “kids” table in another room with a plate of food they don’t even like and NO PRESENTS! See what I’m talking about? 🙂

My solution for this, over the years, is I keep my Christmas decor up throughout January. I alter it a bit to more of a “Winter” theme. There is another article I wrote that you can read if you haven’t. It’s called…”Not Totally Letting Go of Christmas…Just Movin on to Winter” It explains how I transition from Christmas to Winter but still have that wonderful feeling around us like we get from Christmas decor.

In this world of crazy, and I mean crazy, and more everyday…if you are lucky enough to celebrate Thanksgiving with family, loved ones, friends, or anyone special to you, please appreciate and savor it’s beauty and soak it all in for that ONE day…that ONE meal. It’s a time to just BE. To just love and appreciate each other, good food, God’s love and what amazing joys are still all around us….and don’t forget the SMELLS!!!!

Created with Love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

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