It is hard to believe that it is that time of year again already! As I looked back through my posts of the previous three years, I noticed that each year, the date of this post is a little earlier. It is no wonder that today's installment is ten days earlier. It seems the announcements bombard us daily of retailers joining in on the Thanksgiving Day openings. I by no means shun the excitement of the holidays. I have even, for the sake of planning and budgeting, purchased a smattering of Christmas presents since the beginning of summer, when I had some lovely crochet work done for all of the kiddos in my family.
But seriously folks, to me the magic of the holidays really begin with the last exhale of summer and when we are well into the new school year. It is late fall, leaves changing and flying through the air, cooler temperatures, light changes, Halloween. Each of these things build on one another. There is a general sense of hunkering down, turning inwards towards family and the wonder that comes this time of year.
However, it seems the core concept of this season of giving is all but blotted out in a retail frenzy. A number of retailers all over the country (the most recent one announced this morning, Kohls) have made the decision that Black Friday just is not enough. They are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, calling employees in to work, and all but obliterating the family holiday. Why? To entice the public out to spend more money than they probably should all so that year end consumer spending shows growth? Maybe getting back to building strong families would do wonders for the confidence of our population and there would be less reason to fill our worlds with loads and loads of stuff. Again, I am not anti-holiday, nor am I anti-gift giving. I am simply anti-rush. Why can't we take things as they come and enjoy them individually for what they are. Maybe the lessons that we should be teaching our children involve slowing down and appreciating what is going on around us in that moment.
I am reading a wonderful book right now called The School of Essential Ingredients. One of the chapters that I read last night had a Thanksgiving theme. I loved this quote:
"I believe in traditions--they hold us together, like bones--but it can be easy to forget what they are really about. Sometimes we need to look from a different perspective to find them again."
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone took a minute to think about what bones we want to hold us together?