Last week I did an informal poll on my facebook page asking you guys when you decorate for Christmas. That question evokes strong feeling no matter which side of Thanksgiving you land on! From my little poll, it seems most of you guys decorate after Thanksgiving and the reason is a good one, you don’t want to miss one moment of your Thanksgiving holiday.
I so understand that reasoning. Thanksgiving is such a special day; celebrating the harvest, pausing to take a look at our lives and remembering to give thanks for our blessings. Thanksgiving is truly a holiday not to be missed.
For as long as I can remember my parents decorated the house for Christmas by Thanksgiving Day. Tiny lights twinkled on the mantle when the family bounded in from the cold. Stockings already hung, delighted mine and my sister’s little ones as we gathered in the den with hot cider to pause before dinner. One by one the adults and older children took a moment to say a few words of gratitude about the waning year. Daddy always had instrumental Christmas music softly playing in the background. Some years those times were full of laughter,
“I’m so thankful we’re going to have another baby, I mean everyone needs at least 3 right?”
“I’m thankful that Gramma was ok when she fell through the attic ceiling…” (yes, that happened – she was just fine and after the fact everyone did laugh a little)
I remember years when there were thanks for new jobs and new homes, good grades and new friends.
Other years we sat quiet, barely getting out a whisper of thanks…
” So thankful for the last months with Gramma before she left us…”
And there is one Thanksgiving that will be forever imprinted on my heart. It was my little brother David’s last Thanksgiving, there were tears and tissues clinched in tight fists as we dug our heels into our tradition and gave thanks for a year that had been a bloody battle…
“I’m thankful for David’s doctors and for the treatments and for his heroic outlook on life…
I suspect of all those years sitting around the fire on Thanksgiving Day, wrapping words around our blessings, that was the year that heaven paused to listen. Because those words were costly to each of us, my parents in particular.
All that to say sweet ones, that when we decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, there is no neglect of the holiday. Our Thanksgiving celebration has a very different feel from our Christmas celebration and for us, the decorations are the backdrop for our family traditions.
Do you have a minute to share what your family does to celebrate Thanksgiving…any rituals or traditions kept?
Sending you so much love my friends