Recognizing Thanksgiving before Christmas Begins


Pondering thoughts through memories and Good Notions this Thanksgiving season.

I was out shopping recently and noticed several stores were skipping over Thanksgiving and diving right into Christmas.  This was present weeks ago but for some reason, something has been strikingly different this year and I can’t seem to grasp why.

I started to wonder, what happened to recognizing Thanksgiving before the Christmas season begins?  There could be several reasons and it brought me to ponder why it became a national holiday. 

We might remember that Thanksgiving was about different cultures surviving and coming together.  It was a time of celebration; everyone had a special talent, some had multiple skills and they had this amazing harvest to show for it.  It is significantly life changing to gather food you have either hunted, raised or grew directly from the land. 

If more people cultivated these skills, I believe life today would look very different.  People might just be more content instead of looking for the next thing to make them happy.

As I went about my day, I finished shopping in town at a local store where they were doing a Christmas video for marketing purposes.  This led to an interesting conversation as I listened to a young lady share her own frustration with Thanksgiving being looked over.  Her concerns were heartfelt as she shared what it was like growing up this time of year.  Holidays just sort of take us down memory lane and the way things used to be.

I find every Thanksgiving story is different because every home is unique and we all carry different values. After listening to her memories, I thought about my own and realized that my Thanksgivings have changed quite a bit over the years. 

The memories of Thanksgiving and how they differ today.

I have three memories that stand out, the first being from where I grew up.  I was brought up in a rather proper home in the Pacific Northwest.  This part of the country has sort of a hodge podge society growing these days but when I was younger the influence was mostly Indian, Scandinavian, European and Asian. A lot of people worked the land and there was a work ethic present, especially in our home. 

When Thanksgiving approached my mom and grandmother always made a massive amount of food and everything was beautifully placed on a perfectly dressed table. It was nice, the food was good and the table always had a festive fall vibe. I helped by making name tags and like most holiday dinners we always ate too much.

Years later when Robert and I married we moved to Texas, his home state and I had my first southern Thanksgiving in the countryside of Kirbyville.  This event was with his entire family and I was meeting most of them for the first time. 

This was something I could have never prepared myself for and the stories to this day bring forward many smiles. It was a relaxed Thanksgiving and I remember there was more food in one place than I had ever seen in my entire life. I fell in love with corn bread stuffing and our meal was served on paper plates.  I loved that!

Much later after the kids came along, the memories continued to grow. Many from being at home and some while on the road when we ended up eating Thanksgiving dinner at a Dairy Queen, true story.

When we lived on our farm Thanksgiving became more seasoned because we grew and raised a lot of our food.  The kids were part of that process and a sense of pride followed.  One year they took the initiative to set the Thanksgiving table.  Our daughter went outside and gathered what she could find to create a neat centerpiece with candles on the side. 

Our son stayed indoors, took a break from his video game and focused on the place settings. This consisted of my grandmother’s Spode dishes, our everyday silverware and he finished it off with mason jar drinking glasses.

I was proud of them both and smiled realizing that not only did our kids take note of the finer things, but they also knew how to keep things real. I will never forget that Thanksgiving - it set me straight as a parent and held my heart tight because our little family was together enjoying the fruits of our labor.

If we look back at the first Thanksgiving it’s possible, they were also celebrating time together in addition to their harvest. Recognize Thanksgiving this year in your home for what it really is and may it set the stage before the Christmas season begins.

See the Good,