It’s November 6th.
And yet, I’m almost positive that I just overheard the faint strains of Jingle Bells as I was strolling through the aisles of Target.
What’s that all about?
Okay, sure, I’m a fan of the holiday season as much as anyone. In fact I’m pretty much in love with the holiday season. Carol singing, gift buying, the spicy sweet smell of gingerbread, Charlie Brown’s pathetic little tree, warm fires crackling in the hearth, families reunited with laughter and food – these all have the ability to turn me into a wide-eyed little girl again, all giddy with the prospect of presents and my mom’s homemade mashed potatoes.
But I think we’re forgetting something here. Before the Jingle Bells, before the last minute shopping frenzy, before the stockings are hung by the chimney with care…
That’s right. Thanksgiving – the forgotten middle child of the holiday season. Consistently overshadowed by perfect, overachieving sister Christmas and zany, quirky little brother Halloween.
Because sure, it’s nice to sit around and watch football and stuff ourselves silly with food but let’s face it, we’re Americans – it’s not much of a deviation from our normal lives. So we may find ourselves thinking – what’s the big deal?
On Thanksgiving you can’t dress up like SpongeBob and ring your neighbor’s doorbell to ask for candy – or you can – but you can pretty much guarantee that your neighbor’s going to be giving you some funny looks for while.
There’s no exchanging of gifts – no Thanksgiving Carols – no great big jolly man in a big red suit with a sack full of toys.
Thanksgiving, and the whole month of November really, just continues to pass by quietly, in its unobtrusive pumpkin pie sweet kind of way as children all over the world start the countdown to the holidays that really matter.
Well, this year I’m taking a stand for Thanksgiving.
For the Pilgrims. For cranberry farmers and football lovers and airport personnel and tryptophan lovers across the country.
This year let’s remember Thanksgiving. For more than just the great sales and the long lines that it’s evil twin “Black Friday” brings in her wake.
Let’s take the time to turn off the cell phones, sit down with our families and just enjoy the presence of human company, of laughter around the dinner table, of the clang and clatter of forks and knives and fancy china.
I know you’ve got it in you – there’s a reason that millions of Americans will be taking to the roads and skies over the next few weeks. The greeting card companies and department stores may have forgotten but we haven’t. Inside every one of us there lies a need to be surrounded by friends and family, to watch Uncle Ted and Aunt Lillian fight over the last of the yams and to eat more turkey than humanly possible or necessary.
So forget for a moment about the stresses and trials of life. Take a deep breath. Relax. Enjoy your day off. Cheer for your team. Watch a parade. Eat. Eat. Eat.
And don’t forget to give some thanks for all we have been blessed with.
Happy Thanksgiving to All.