Thursday, November 10, 2011
I got back to Utah this past Monday morning at 2:00 AM. Yes, that's right, after a 12 hour duty day, I caught a flight out of San Francisco that delayed, delayed, delayed. No worries though, I got home and that's what ultimately matters. I promptly made a doctors appointment to check out my ticker that was acting up (hence the reason for coming home so early) only to discover that, although my heart is relatively healthy, it most definitely marches to the "beat" of it's own drum and I WILL have to have another heart procedure in the near future (ugh). But, thank goodness for modern medicine and modern surgeries that can ensure a better quality of life!
As I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up my newest meds, I was overwhelmed as I entered through the sliding doors of our friendly neighborhood market only to be overcome with the sweetest smells of my favorite holiday...yes, Christmas. I was bombarded by the sweet melodies of favorite Carols and my eyes beheld the sparkling hues of every tint of red and green imaginable. It was beautiful...but wait, it was only Nov. 7th...where are all the gorgeous Fall leaves, scarecrows and gourds? Where is the homey aroma of Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon and Clove? Did I miss this entirely?
As much as I adore Christmas, I am willing to wait a mere 4 weeks until breaking out the stockings, trees, garlands and mistletoe. I think Thanksgiving is vital and extremely important. In fact, I even think that it is necessary to ensure a GREAT Christmas...
You see, I believe we live in a world of "Gimme". I see it in adults, teenagers and little children. I am appalled as I hear about rambling lists of requested items from one person to another regarding "what you CAN GET ME"...are you kidding me?
My personal feelings about Thanksgiving transcends way beyond the usual obscene, copious amounts of food injested in one sitting. I believe that it is a precursor to the celebration of one of the most beautiful holidays of the year..the celebration of our Savior's birth. Thanksgiving should be a time of pure reflection for the bounteous blessings we have all been granted during the year from the obvious to the sublime. It should set the tone for the holiday of "giving". It should be a time of verbal expressions of gratitude that would no doubt set the tone of thankfulness through the end of the year and hopefully into the New Year which could easily be carried through each month, day and minute if we truly allowed it it's place in November.
I am personally sickened at the gaudy display of commercialism that is creeping into our lives earlier and earlier. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the beautiful sights, smells and sounds of Christmas, but firmly believe that "to every thing there is a season". Our weak economy dictates which celebrations we can begin to focus on and ultimately overlooks the precious, non-commercial holidays that seem to somehow "interfere" with projected revenues for ailing businesses. How sad...
Shouldn't we be embracing a holiday that brings to the forefront, gratitude, thankfulness, giving and most importantly, humility? Wouldn't this ensure a better Christmas and foster a feeling and attitude of love and gratitude rather than entitlement and greed? Is it really necessary to provide lists of requested "items" in order to have a Happy Christmas? My sweet mother talks of her pure joy and excitement of receiving an Orange in her stocking on Christmas morning...you see, during the depression where she lived, oranges were not plentiful and considered a luxury item...It is one of her favorite gift memories, in fact, I have never heard her speak of another favorite gift.
What has happened to our society that we have allowed the most sacred holiday to lose it's pure and simple meaning? Maybe if we allowed Thanksgiving its rightful place and time, gave it the respect and dignity that it rightfully deserves, just maybe we would all have a more peaceful, enjoyable and precious Christmas. Maybe people would focus on the "Giving" of ones self and not just of giving tangible gifts that often leave us with a trail of debt. How many of us stress over finding something that someone has requested thinking that if we don't find it, WE will somehow be responsible for ruining THEIR Christmas? Has our culture really become that selfish and shallow that the success of a holiday depends on how much we spend on someone?
My favorite gifts are neighbor gifts. They are generally homemade and unsolicited. They usually are accompanied by a thoughtful poem or story that evokes a warm feeling within my heart. My *Littles* draw me pictures...sometimes scribbles and I have EVERY ONE that they have ever given me. They are created with pure love and joy and I see them with my heart as it is busy melting as I cherish each one...My dad used to to say, "Let's enjoy Christmas this year and NOT give any gifts!!" (By the way, he LOVED buying gifts for each of us) but I totally get what he meant. This should NOT be a time of stress and anxiety. Would our dear Lord and Savior want His birthday celebrated this way?
I personally am thankful for so many amazing blessings that have bounteously been bestowed on myself and my family. There is no room in one humble blog to list ALL of the tender mercies that we have experienced during this past year. I will most likely be flying November 24th and who know where I'll eat dinner...if I even get to get dinner that day. But it doesn't matter because I am just thankful that my family is healthy, happy and prosperous. Welcome Thanksgiving...you are entitled to your day!