During these last few days leading up to Thanksgiving I go into full-fledged count-my-blessings mode. I try to slow down and pay attention to the many wonderful people and experiences that make up my life. The simple signs of beauty and grace that are there when I take time stop and look around. Yesterday at (Ascension Lutheran) church, I remembered that it was the last Sunday of the church year. For this reason I get extremely aggravated by signs of Christmas before we officially reach the First Sunday in Advent.
I’ll admit I cheated last week and listened to O Holy Night on the radio (once) before changing the station, and I already bought two Christmas gifts. And okay, I have been secretly working on molding my Christmas shopping list, but I try my darndest to look the other way at all things Christmas until after this special time of thanks has passed. Oh all right fine – last confession – I already let my kids (gasp) sit on Santa’s lap for one minuscule moment of opportunity.
By and large I harness my reindeer until after I’ve celebrated properly with a Thanksgiving feast surrounded by family and purposeful acknowledgement of blessings. Every year I feel like I am fighting a losing battle with majority – just go into any department store, big-box store, grocery store, or any neighborhood and you will find pictures of red bows, Christmas sale signs, decorations, trees, lights, and I bet you might even run into Santa Claus himself. I did.
This week I can only make decisions for myself and my family on how we approach Thanksgiving and our decision to silent our wish lists until December. There are so many things I am thankful for in my life. I agree with the importance of being thankful everyday of the year, but I still enjoy this special Thursday in November when families in America gather round the table and savor the tastes of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casseroles, and more until we are full to the point of needing an immediate nap in front of a TV streaming NFL games. Or better yet maybe a leisure walk outside in the blustering fresh air with family. Then later gather round the same table one more time for pumpkin pie and far too many other desserts. The night might end with wild children, loud and happy adults after too much wine, a house full of warmth, and possible musical entertainment.
This is not a public service announcement, but… To all who wear the red, white, and blue: Gather round with whoever is at your table on Thursday. Catch up on life and celebrate relationships no matter how crazy, dysfunctional, happy, sad, funny, or frustrating your relatives and friends might be. Thanksgiving is a specific day to, well, give thanks. So turn off your Christmas lights for another four days. Four days, people.
I am thankful…
For healthy, sleeping children after a long day of growth and play…
For the ability to write and the freedom of self-expression. Everyone has a dream. Right? Write! My dream has always been to become a writer. I am thankful for my kids who have given me the bravery to write and share my life because they are something that fill me with courage and love. The kind of love I want to share. The kind of love I am not ashamed of. The kind of love that only children can infect those around them with.
For aunts and uncles who have always believed in me. All of them, even the one too early departed. I can confidently share that all my aunts and uncles are aware of my deep interest in writing. They read my blog and follow when they have time to catch up on the banter.
Last Friday we had a special visit from my Aunt Claire and Uncle Rick. I saw them regularly growing up and when I lived in Florida, but over the last several years our get-togethers have become far too infrequent because of the miles that separate us. Nonetheless they are always there for me in a less literal version of closeness. Or like on Friday when they were here in the flesh!
For Dad’s. My own and my children’s, neither of which care to be mentioned too often on my blog 🙂
For Mom’s. All of them.
For cousins and second cousins.
For son’s and the silly things they say. In the last week I’ve learned that “Engine Noodle” really means Ninja Turtle and “thermometer” actually means harmonica in Lance’s world.
For daughter’s and the new skills they learn. Like Vivian crawling under tables or toward me with eager, loving eyes meant only for my gaze.
For pugs and other members of the animal kingdom.
For bologna sandwiches.
For Bob Dylan.
For Downton Abbey.
You get the point, right? I’m a little thankful, and a whole lot loony today.
Oh wait, that’s everyday.
In order to really appreciate this holiday season (Thanksgiving first and Christmas second, lest I haven’t been clear), for the next few months I might blog and picture-take less. I might run less. I might move so quickly from activity to activity less. I might travel less. I might say yes to social engagements less. I might use the computer less.
On the other hand, I might cook more. I might read more (library books). I might rest more. I might watch old movies more. I might journal more.
I don’t have a third hand, but I will pretend I do for the sake of practicing what I preach to Lance about the fun of pretending. So if I did have a third hand I would say I might not to all of the above. I just hate tying myself down, ya know?
Good, I thought so.
One thing is for sure though. For the rest of the week, and especially on Thursday, I will look away from all things red/green and from those far-too-festive, for my taste, souls.
Now then. It’s time to turn my grumble, grumbles in GOBBLE, GOBBLES with a side of bountiful blessings.
Dig in everyone.
The Banter Lady
Editor’s Note: I’d like to dedicate the word “fixin’s” in the title to all my southern friends.