An Unhallowed Christmas without Thanksgiving
This morning on my walk I saw Christmas lights adorning the trim on a house and a blow up Santa Claus already poised in a yard. Really? It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. With Halloween being made into the King Kong of holidays and Christmas becoming more about the shopping, the buying, and the partying; Thanksgiving has been relegated to the advertisement section. It seems to be the reason for the season – of sales. If you try to find Thanksgiving supplies in the store…you will find a mere shelf stocked with a few items while Halloween and Christmas are stockpiled as tall as the Empire State Building. Thanksgiving Day has become the day to begin the mad dash for the gifts and items we cannot live without. I guess 363 days is not enough time to shop.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I love Christmas. I decorate each room in the house with a little bit of Christmas. We have crèches all throughout the house. We have several Christmas trees. There is the family tree with all the ornaments handed down from generation to generation. We have a Star Trek tree – I know it’s weird, but Thad is into Star Trek and what started out as an ornament for the family tree quickly turned into too many and found its way on its very own tree. A wedding tree holds an ornament for every year we have been married (40) and a nature tree on our patio is filled with all sorts of animals, pine cones, and butterflies. Even the garage hosts a little half tree on the wall made out of grapevine and twigs; decorated with small tools like a hammer, wrench, screw driver, nuts and bolts. It’s my “Tim the Tool Man Taylor Tree”.
But I for one cannot celebrate and honestly acknowledge the Christmas season without giving thanks for my blessings. I am blessed with a life that includes my husband, daughter, my son in love and grandson who fills my heart with love and joy as I watch him grow. I am thankful for my country, my church, the parents who raised me, my brothers who tormented me as a child and love me as an adult and their wives who I now call my sisters. I give thanks for my extended family, and for my friends. It’s not always easy to be thankful. There have been bitter years, disappointing years, and years of fear and pain in which finding a thankful heart within me was the last thing I felt like doing. But looking back on those years often brought about something good, something I could save from it, something that made me stronger, softer, kinder, and …yes even thankful. Thanksgiving Day reminds me to celebrate my life with all its ups and downs and to be grateful for the body God created for me to carry out His works, His words, and His will for me.
So while I enjoy looking at the Christmas decorations, I have decided that I will not be tempted to rush into Christmas at the expense of Thanksgiving. It’s too important a holiday. It keeps Christ centered in my life and makes me humble and grateful. Yes, I need Thanksgiving in my life and it will not be rushed. I will stop and spend some time especially on this Thanksgiving Day to give thanks to God. It is my prayer that you do so as well.