Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday has come and gone already. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my girls and Isaac, Emile's boyfriend. Everyone contributed a dish or two. My how things have changed! There were games and Christmas movies stacked on the coffee table in case there was any interest, but like grown-ups often do, we sat around the table and talked all evening – serious, challenging conversations seasoned with laughter. And now there is nothing to keep us from sliding right smack into Christmas.
I love Christmas, but I dislike how in so many ways it encroaches upon the other holidays. Our way of ushering in Christmas is to crowd out autumn, this brief and glorious season. Before children have donned their Halloween costumes, autumn decorations are on clearance and sharing the isle with Christmas. Thanksgiving is insignificant in the world of commerce, but it is my favorite holiday for that very reason. There is no gift buying expectations; Thanksgiving is a tribute to food and good old fashioned fellowship. It is meant to be a thankful holiday – full of thanks for blessings, grace, overcoming and surviving the odds.
I have such great memories of celebrating Thanksgiving in Ohio when I was a child. We all got together at some relative's house and ate and visited all day. The men watched football and talked of farming and weather (another favorite topic of mine). I loved sampling foods brought by my aunts, cousins and grandma. There isn't a sale worthy enough to leave behind such a glorious feast with family. I don't appreciate being rushed into the next holiday.
Being present and not pressing forward is a challenge even for me. The first Christmas card arrived in the mail on November 17 from a good planner. And now I am thinking about when we should get the tree. We've started Christmas shopping. I am so conflicted. Our whole world is conflicted. As a counselor I often bump into articles about being present, living in the moment with awareness and gratitude. But all around me there is pushing and shoving to some “significant” place we never reach.
Today I want to enjoy this day. I want to be attentive to the people I am with in the moment. I am not too sure how well I will do holding my own against the powerful undertow of commerce, but it is my goal. I am no Ebeneezer Scrooge, but I dislike being rushed!
I am hoping you and I can find a way to enjoy the moments presented today. As we plan and shop, may we be present to the people around us, even the cashier. May we find ourselves longing to give well wishes and blessings more so. People are in greater need of hope than anything else. I for one want to take time to sprinkle about more hope and less money. I want to give those around me a reason to smile and not so much another perishable item. I am no Ebeneezer Scrooge, but I want to give more than the same store-bought gift given to hundreds, thousands or millions of others.
Here's to making meaningful moments all year long and not letting them get lost during Christmas. How are you keeping your head and heart above the powerful current to “buy” Christmas? How do you experience meaningful moments in the midst of the holidays?