I was in a large, very popular shopping establishment last night and saw something rather annoying. Christmas trees. Why is that so annoying, you ask? Because there's another holiday that happens before Christmas (one month before Christmas to be precise) that always gets overlooked. Thanksgiving. Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? Giving thanks. Perhaps it's not as important now as it once was, when the summer's harvest was in the barns and cupboards, when people knew if they had not had a prosperous year prior they would have to face a long, cold, hungry winter. Perhaps that rampant disease of consumerism stepped over Thanksgiving because, who goes Thanksgiving shopping? There's the turkeys of course, and the cranberry sauce. But it brings in no revenue? Not like Halloween or Christmas.
Thanksgiving. Giving Thanks. What do we have to be thankful for, anyway? True, most of us don't have to bring the crops in before the first frost. Most of us don't have to can and preserve our winter rations. Most of us didn't toil all spring and summer to build a home, a life. Or did we? Spring gives us renewal, rebirth. Summer is time to play. Autumn brings with it a harvest of abundance. We sow our seeds, be they peony's or resumes. We run through sprinklers and catch some sun by the pool. We save our pennies for that latte on Friday.
Our cupboards are full of boxes and cans, our fridges with plastic and Styrofoam. We have heat and air and clean running water. Our children are fed, our pillows are soft, and, if we're really lucky, we have a few moments at the end of the day to breathe deep, put our feet up, sip a hot cider, and dream.
Thanksgiving. It should not be overlooked. Pause. Reflect. After the sugar high and let's pretend of Halloween are through, before the rush of in laws, outlaws, and good old Saint Nick. Take a moment and gather, with those you hold most dear. Hold hands around the table, the sofa, the bonfire on a brisk November night and take a moment to give thanks.
(PS: For one last hurrah of Halloween fun, tromp on over to my Woolgatherings blog and see what fun I had reading tea leaves on All Hallow's Eve ;)