Thanksgiving is over. This year the kids, my mom and I, went to spend Thanksgiving with my brother, his wife and her family. They did an excellent job cooking and pulling everything together and we got to see her side of the family which is always fun. They are just good people to be around. We did the usual, telling funny stories and sharing memories. My brother played recordings of my kids talking when they were babies. Laughter and food was shared and enjoyed by all.
I also cooked a Thanksgiving meal for us so that we could share our own time at home and have leftovers to stretch out the week. Making everyone’s favorites is always fun and makes for happy smiles for days.
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, grateful for family, for the passing of another year, for the harvest that was planted, reaped and enjoyed. It is an American tradition passed down through generations.
Yet another tradition has reared its ugly head, the head of greed. Driving to my brother’s house I was struck silent by how many businesses were open on Thanksgiving Day. Not just hospitals, fire stations, and police stations, but gas stations, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, the big super stores all open for our convenience and in the name of the almighty dollar. Really? Do we really need so many people to miss out on the holiday because we want a container of cool whip, or a pie we forgot to make? The funny thing is years ago when everything closed, we didn’t lament, we didn’t take it for granted, we planned ahead and got what we needed early because we knew they would be closed. No big deal.
Then there’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. I confess I went last year for the first time to one store at 7 a.m. to pick up a new laptop and printer. It was a real bargain and I use both daily. However, I am not one you will ever see fight the masses for a promised sale. It’s just not in me to camp out or push my way through a crowd for anything. Then again, I’m also not the “to die for” shopper who HAS to get the ultimate Christmas gift every year either.
I am a simple person. I enjoy the holidays because they ARE the holidays. I love the smells, the lights, the cool crisp air, that many people find their Christmas spirit and walk around humming or with a smile on their face, more than any other time of year. It’s magic. The energy is different, the people are different. Whether you are religious or not, unless you are walking around oblivious, stressed, self-absorbed, depressed, or just plain too busy, if you will stop, just for a moment and look around you will feel the difference.
Don’t let this season pass by with over-spending, high-drama, and too much stress. It’s not really about out doing each other on presents. It’s not about greed. It’s about family and friends, being grateful for another year and appreciating the people in your life. Take time to watch the Christmas movies, listen to Christmas stories, listen to the music and hymns of the season. Just for a moment, with a prayer of thankfulness, there can be peace on earth. God is good.