Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is almost the forgotten holiday. Since gift giving, other than a hostess gift here and there, is not part of the celebration and shoppers involvement is limited to dinner components , it doesn't get a big buzz from the advertising moguls. After all how many turkeys can a family eat? Personally I'm glad Thanksgiving doesn't fit into the pattern of other holidays. Instead of a noisy tribute to commercialism I think we each need a day of quiet reflection on the blessings granted to us.
On Face Book there's a movement many people are participating in, where each day each person lists one thing he or she is grateful for. I applaud those who are taking the time to do this. Some people do this more privately in their journals or on their desk calendars. This is great too. However we do it, it is good to pause, and take account of the blessings, small miracles, and kindnesses in our lives. I've undergone four major surgeries in the past year and I'm deeply grateful for the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who got me through what would have been a death sentence or at best a miserable crippled existence just a generation ago. I'm thankful for my family, friends, and neighbors who have been generous and kind to me and my family. I'm especially thankful for my husband who has cooked, cleaned, and watched over me in the kindest most helpful way. And though I don't recommend losing weight the way I have, I am thankful to be fifty pounds thinner than I was a year ago.
Thanksgiving is a good time too, to reflect on Thanksgivings past and the loved ones who no longer share our table. I remember the Thanksgiving Day we were moving, but midway through the day Mama managed to serve us ham and beans. I remember too, that Mama always cooked cranberries herself, no canned ones for our family and she made the best stuffing and carrot salad. I remember the Thanksgiving I cooked the turkey, took it to my mother-in-law's house, and later placed what was left in the trunk of our car to take home. When we reached home, we hurried five small sleepy children into the house and only emptied those things from the trunk that wouldn't fare well in the cold car overnight. The next morning we discovered the leftovers were ruined since while we removed the few things we thought needed to be taken inside, our cat had hopped into the trunk and spent the night feasting.
We only have a couple of decorations that can be considered strictly Halloween; the rest are simply fall and harvest items. We've just never been big about that particular holiday. I never trick or treated as a child because my mother considered it begging and was adamant that none of her children should beg. I found costumes and trick or treating a fun adventure for small children when my own children were small, but I have no use for the creepy side of Halloween. Therefore my decorations mostly stay in place and I add a few pilgrims, turkeys, and cornucopias.
For many people Thanksgiving Day is simply a football and "get-ready-for-Christmas" day. They wolf down dinner in front of the TV, glued to a Christmas parade or ball game. They study the sale ads in the paper and this year they'll be able to shop all day in many stores instead of leaping into action at midnight or whenever the early bird specials begin on Black Friday. I find it kind of sad, but it's their choice. As for me, I look forward to dinner where conversation with loved ones is as important as a delicious feast. I want to hold my tiny granddaughters in my arms and leave them with no doubts that they are loved. I want to hear from all my children and grandchildren about school, and friends, and work. I want to feel assured my parents would be pleased with my family. Most of all I want to feel the peace that comes with expressing gratitude to friends, to family, and to God for the life I've been privileged to live.