...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What to do until Thanksgiving...

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? :)


Lindsay said...

Amen! I totally agree. I will not decorate for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving day. I did however watch a Christmas movie last week while I was sick...mainly cause I've seen it a million times so I didn't actually have to "watch"...kwim?

For us Thanksgiving was a big family holiday. My family is made up of ministers (see my blog), so they were always busy at their own churches around Christmas, so getting together was nearly impossible. So that meant that we gathered together for Thanksgiving day and just enjoyed each other, played games, and laughes. I have the BEST memories of it.

Plus Christmas pretty much lasts the whole month of December so I can be wait that long. :)

This year we are going camping the week of Thanksgiving, and taking a picnic on Thanksgiving day (since both my parents and I are in "transition" right now). I am so excited!

Liz said...

These are all really good ideas, Rachel. I agree - too many people "skip" Thanksgiving and go right from Halloween to Christmas. I love Christmas and I want to get our tree up right after Thanksgiving, but I want to take the time to enjoy that holiday, too, especially since it's so easy. Give thanks, and eat!

fawnda said...

Yesterday I walked into Target and was like "Really?! Christmas bulbs hanging from the ceiling already? What happened to Thanksgiving?" It like they think I will spend more because it is all decked out in green and red!

What a great list! I love it! I want to do each and every thing on it!

Great post!

Donna said...

I love Thanksgiving, too! I love reading with the kids about the pilgrims' journey to the New World where they could love God in their own way, their struggles, and their peace agreement with the natives. Their struggles to raise crops and hunt in this new land resolved when Squanto, an English-speaking native, showed them where and how to fish and hunt and grow corn. When they harvested their crops, they were so thankful, they organized a 3-day feast.

I am so thankful that we do not feast for 3 days! Just organizing and preparing for ONE feast is quite a feat...and we don't even have to hunt and fish or harvest our food ourselves! Thank You, God!

After that, we start breaking out the Christmas decor and books. Rachel, I may be up for a little "Black Friday" jaunt with you if you'd like some company. I don't usually go out on that day, but I may change my mind this year. We'll see!

Liz said...

Donna, can you give me a little history lesson before Thanksgiving so I can start "learnin'" my youngins?

Lindsay said...

I would LOVE to go black Friday shopping with someone, but don't want to go alone. Let me know!

Donna said...

Haha, Liz. Sadly, everything I know, I learned from our children's books about Thanksgiving. You can borrow them any time to brush up on your Plymouth Colony trivia.

Lindsay, maybe we can get a small group together?

Bryssy said...

Girls, the Black Friday ads are already being leaked. I like to roll out at about 4:30 am and be home by 8 am or so. You'll have to let me know what you are looking for so that we can divide and conquer! Last year I got bath towels (pretty decent ones) for 50 cents each!

Liz said...

Wow, Brystal. You are hard core. :)
I would love to go on a shopping trip with you ladies, but I am too much of a wimp to "roll out" at 4:30. Y'all have fun! ;)