Doesn't it seem like Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year? I was in a Hobby Lobby this summer and they already had aisles of silk poinsettias and ready-to-make ornaments glistening in the 100 degree temperatures. The retail stores really set the pace for the holiday season, but I don't mind too much. I like to shop early so I can enjoy decorating and celebrating later. I also love to see what is en vogue for the coming season. It's exciting.
There is something about this time of year that does bother me, however, and that is the skipping of Thanksgiving. With the stores full of Christmas merchandise and the near lack of commercialism that surrounds the little November holiday, it can be easy to jump right over it as soon as the jack-o-lanterns have been taken off the porch. I noticed that there is even a new Christmas special scheduled to air the week before Thanksgiving this year. Really? Was there not enough room in the listings during the 29 days after Turkey Day?
In our household when I was growing up, we did not decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. My parents felt like it was important to take a day to be thankful, and that Thanksgiving Day should get it's own celebration. Now as an adult with a household of my own, I am fanatical about preserving Thanksgiving as a time for reflection and togetherness. I may shop for Christmas all year, but you will not see one ounce of glitter until the Christmas closet explodes on Black Friday. No candy wrapped in red or green, no Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks--there will be lots of time for all of that later.
So, I guess the point of this whole thing is, please, give Thanksgiving a chance.
Here are some ideas for what to do in November:
1. Eat well. You really have no reason to indulge from now until Thanksgiving, so take advantage of it and get into shape before the good stuff starts flowing.
2. Think of others. It can be so challenging to keep up with our own business in December, much less the needs of those around us. I like to prepare our Thanksgiving and Christmas donations in November so they are ready to go when the food and toy drives begin.
3. Finish unfinished projects. My November tradition is that I finish as much of my long-term to do list as I can so that I can enter Thanksgiving and Christmas with a lighter heart and a lighter load of guilt.
4. Get ready for Christmas. Clean the house, do the shopping, get organized--when it's all done, you can do nothing BUT enjoy the holiday season.
5. Be thankful. That's what the whole holiday season is all about, isn't it? :)