Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Move It Along!
This year, as I have done in the past, I'm following in the footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers, Jim Sullivan AKA Suldog as he again begins his annual and very vigorous campaign to put Thanksgiving uppermost in our minds and hearts and celebrate it not just on the designated day but really, all year-round! But, his main thrust is to try to get people to acknowledge the importance of this holiday and also, that it is so often overlooked in the general scheme of things -particularly those businesses who feel the need to begin pushing us to buy, buy, buy everything imaginable to make sure we have the best holiday ever!
But my theory is without Thanksgiving first, we really can not have the beautiful Christmas experience we should have!
I hate seeing all the crapola on display in the stores as they begin, earlier and earlier it seems, each year gearing up for the Christmas Season.
It's bad enough when you go shopping in June looking for a nice bathing suit or some new shorts and tops and find winter coats on display and on sale. Or in December-January, you go looking for some nice warm clothing -sweaters, gloves to replace one that manages (always your favorite glove too) to get lost in the shuffle, or looking for a new winter coat because the one you've had for the past eternity has now finally bit the dust and what do you find in the store -bathing suits, of course!
Somehow I feel retailers must have a totally different calendar that they use that makes them operate this way.
But the worst offender in all this mish-mash of advertising and sales really would be -in my opinion -the ones where we start getting deluged with Christmas ads, music, displays, information -you name it -sometimes even as early as September!
People! Wake up! There's a whole lot of other very important things that take place before we should be forced into thinking solely about how much debt we're going to take on again this year so we can adequately celebrate the Christmas Holiday!
The one that really does get the short shrift in this advertising mania though has to be Thanksgiving and we tend to allow retailers to hammer that holiday down to being of very little importance in the overall scheme of things, don't we?
Thanksgiving Day has always been one of utmost importance in my family's celebrations. And I suppose some members of my clan have from time to time thought of it as the day before their big shopping event of the year as being the most important part of this holiday but even with that, I do think we all do stop and recognize that on this day we come together as a family, dine heartily for sure (okay, dine too much really), some of us (me, anyway) enjoy the Thanksgiving Day parades and also, some great football games too but it is the idea of stopping and giving thanks for all that we have in our lives that we treasure and want to give back thanks for having received these gifts.
For many years, well from 1979 until 5 years ago, so 26 years, my kids and I always went to my Aunt's home, which was my Dad's family homestead, and we celebrated Thanksgiving with our aunt and her daughter. For many of those years, my other aunt was still around and she would also be there with us along with -usually -her son, his wife and sometimes their children too. A nice family gathering and generally about the only time during the year that my kids and I would even see that cousin and his family.
For most of those years, my younger aunt always prepared the meal -everything from soup to nuts -and always it was a fantastic dinner too. Something my kids were extra thankful for because it meant they got a really good cooked dinner done by our Aunt Mike and yes, she really had a great way with putting a very delicious dinner together too! Early on, we often even had my older aunt's special Plum Pudding type dessert too -something that created other special memories in my kids' minds as rarely does a holiday go by now that one of my kids doesn't remember and mention the year Aunt Lizzie wanted to "flame" this dessert but for some reason or other, it just wouldn't cooperate. As a result, my Uncle Arch kept telling her to "Put a little more whiskey on it Lizzie!" and my kids just totally loved hearing him say that and also, remembering seeing the kind of dirty looks his wife -Aunt Isabelle -was throwing his way each time he'd say that.
Or the time my older daughter invited her boyfriend at the time to dine with us and thus, meet the extended family that way. He was a shy, quiet young man and had no clue as to the sharp tongue that sometimes existed in my Aunt Lizzie until he reached across the table for a little extra helping of something and in the process, the sleeve of his sweater got a bit too close to the flame of one of the candles on the dining room table and sort of "toasted" his sleeve a tad. When that happened, Aunt Lizzie -in her sort of growling way -chided him saying "That's what you get for being greedy!" The poor young fellow was mortified initially as he figured from her words and especially her tone of voice, that she was really meaning what she said. It took us the rest of that evening to assure him that was just her way of teasing him, trying to make him feel a full part of our a bit offbeat at times, family.
But that really has nothing to do with the ad campaigns that seem to try to obliterate the importance of this special day, does it?
There really should be lots and lots of ad campaigns and special programs and the like to call attention to Thanksgiving in a very meaningful way though. We should be deluged with blurbs about things we all have -and quite assuredly even during the worst of times, we ALL do have many, many things for which we can and should give thanks! For family, for friends, for fellowship we may have through various groups or organizations, for opportunities that simply abound for us but all too often, we get bogged down in our thought processes and overlook these things.
Of course, we should give much thanks for the food on the table before us -even if it's been a bit of a rough year, economically, most of us still manage to pull together a feed often fit for royalty, don't we? And we should take the time in the days leading up to this event to thank the farmers who produced the crops necessary for us to pick and choose what culinary delights we could afford to have available for our dining pleasure at least on this one special day of the year!
We should be shown promos of other things for which we often forget but which are very important gifts that we owe huge debts of gratitude and thankfullness much overdue -things like our government, our freedoms in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, for those who serve and protect us daily -here and around the world as well. We should give attention to those who don't have as much as we have too -and recognize that there are many who have even less -far less -than we have even when our table setting may look perhaps a bit on the sparse side at times. We still have more than so many others do and we should give thanks for what we do have!
Much of the time the past couple of years, due to work schedules and such by some members of my family, we don't actually observe Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November, which is the traditional time for this event. This year is going to be one of those years but we will figure out a weekend as close to this date as possible when all of my kids and grandkids and I will be able to be together and will have our special gathering then.
And maybe sometime in December -after we've begun celebrating the Advent Season -which is the true precursor of Christmas -I will begin to appreciate seeing lights and decorations, hearing Christmas music to put me in a receptive mode for the Christmas Season to begin.
But it can't come to be until after we've had our Thanksgiving time together to stop and appreciate all that we have, all that has been given to us and getting mind, body and spirit refreshed and ready to welcome the Christmas Season.