Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dude, where's Thanksgiving?

OK, I know many people have been discussing this lately, but seriously, what happened?! I cannot keep this to myself. Now, I am going to weigh in. . .

In the good old days, no one ever put up any Christmas decor until AFTER THANKSGIVING. It was like an unwritten rule or something. I remember being in Germany the first November we were there, and I was shocked to see Christmas stuff up SO early. But then, they are not huge on Halloween (unless they live near an American Military installation and their children can come and get candy) and then they don't do Thanksgiving. So it was a shock to my system to see Christmas stuff up in October. I did not decorate until after Thanksgiving, though, as I was raised.

So I did sort of enjoy their not celebrating Thanksgiving, though. The morning of our first Thanksgiving in Germany, we were expecting 12 friends from all over Germany. See, we army folks do stuff like that, end up being "family" when we are far from home. Anyway, I had last minute additions, so David had to go buy new linen napkins that morning. Wouldn't have been able to shop so freely here, right?

I digress. I enjoy Thanksgiving. And I will tell you a secret, I do not even eat turkey. Never have. But I do cook one almost every year (unless David is deployed, he is my turkey man). I just love the family stuff. I love a holiday actually existing that encourages us to just be thankful. Not to ask for more things, just to be grateful for what we have. I love making hand turkeys. I love the men watching football. I like the afternoon naps that everyone takes because they are so stuffed. I love pecan pies! I love leaves crunching at your feet as you stroll off your dinner. Thanksgiving is THE fall holiday, you know? I mean, growing up in GA, it was not usually that cold at Halloween. But you could count on Thanksgiving (most of the time).

We took down our Halloween decor (and there was a LOT of it this year - yeah, we had a humongous ghost suspended with fishing line on the front porch), and got out my fall tablecloth and hung a turkey wreath on the front door. I did not get out a Christmas tree. It is not time.

I LOVE that the kids are upset about what I am now calling "Christmas Creep," too. Spencer from the backseat will point out (a) the people that have not yet taken down Halloween decorations and (b) the people who have prematurely put up Christmas lights. I get so tickled. He always says, with authority and some sadness in his voice, "Oh well, Mommy, maybe those people don't celebrate Thanksgiving. You know, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving." And Jessa keeps saying she is excited for Thanksgiving first, then Christmas. I am quite proud of this from my material girl!

Now, that being said, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I will be pulling out my tree as soon as the dishwasher is loaded from our Thanksgiving feast. And yes, I have already been shopping here and there, but for the decorating, I am holding off. I feel that one of the things that makes Christmas so special is that it is NOT 3 months long. It is a special, magical time of year that comes but only once every 12 months. (And just like not decorating too early, my Southern family fully believes that bad luck will come to you for the entire year if the clock strikes 12 at midnight on New Year's Eve and you still have some tinsel hanging around.) I mean your birthday would not be special of you left up the balloons and banners all year. The decorations would seem normal and usual, not exciting and cool. Maybe Jesus feels the same way? Maybe He likes the Christmas Season, His birthday, to be special and different.

I love Christmas, but last night at church during supper on NOVEMBER 11, 2 weeks BEFORE THANKSGIVING, the pianist was playing CHRISTMAS CAROLS. I am not exaggerating, it made my stomach flip-flop. And it made me sad for Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

kate said...

Ha! LOVE it! I am soooo with you!!