Am I the only one who has noticed? Is it me or did we go from October 31st straight to December 25th? I think we can all agree that, with the exception of a few good days (like the birth of my littlest love), 2020 will NOT be a contender for the “Best Year Ever” award. Therefore, a part of me can understand why some people went from a scare affair to decking the halls. Deep down inside though, it pains me to see that Thanksgiving is being put on the backburner more and more. Hopefully, I can implore you to bring it back to the forefront where it belongs. If we can recognize newfound days like Grandparent’s Day and National Donut Day, surely we can pay homage to the staple that is Thanksgiving.
When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a day I totally looked forward to. My family, which is huge, would get together every single year like clockwork. We would all gather at a family member’s house to eat what seemed like enough food to feed a small nation. We’d play games, sing songs, the elders would tell stories, we’d all watch movies, learn about our family history, we’d get to mix and mingle to catch up with everyone in person, and we would just enjoy a day full of family.
Gathering for Thanksgiving was a pretty big deal for us as it was the one time of year where we knew we would all be together. I believe it is truly where my deep love of family was birthed.
When looking at old pictures from Thanksgivings of the past, you can see everyone from my grandparents down to the newest baby born in the family. Then, as the years have gone by, you realize the babies in those pictures are now adults with babies of their own, and the grandparents we loved to see during the holiday are no longer with us. Thanksgiving has, and continues to give me, a sense of warmth, comfort, security, and love. It is a nostalgic time and one that I cherish so much. Though the people around the table of turkey have changed a bit as we have lost some loved ones and added others, the feeling I get on that chilly last Thursday of November has remained the same.
I want my children to know this feeling, too.
In a world where so much is going on around us, I want to ensure my family, especially my kids, have a sense of gratitude within them. We have remained healthy this entire year, my husband and I have had continual employment and steady incomes, we have not missed a single meal, we have had no needs unfulfilled, and most importantly, we have each other. Millions of Americans cannot say the same. This is by no means being written in a braggadocious manner, but more so from a place of genuine thankfulness. Appreciative, grateful, and blessed are words that I do not take for granted, and ones I want my boys to start understanding even now. Whether your story reflects mine or you have had a tumultuous year, one thing is for sure: You are surviving it and that is indeed worth celebrating.
Finally, I am reminded of the gift of time. Instead of speeding it up, I am trying to slow it down. If this year has not taught me anything else, it has taught me that every day is not promised. So instead of moving too fast, I am pacing myself to enjoy each day and live in the present. In times like this, it is so easy for us to daydream about our future reality, but instead, I am enjoying these very moments: Seeing my son play in the beautiful fall colored leaves, gorgeous pumpkins and mums placed perfectly on our porch, scents of spices and fall aromas, and the sharing of family recipes as we move into Thanksgiving week. Soon enough we will get our Christmas tree, start sorting ornaments, put up glistening lights, and begin decking the halls, but the time that is now is for all things Thanksgiving.
As we embark upon the final month and half of this year, I want to remind you that we have two special holidays left, not just one. Yes, there’s Christmas, a manger, Santa, and holiday cheer, but please do not forget Thanksgiving, where there’s family, love, and gratitude. Instead of using Thanksgiving as intermission during the holiday season, I encourage you to be deliberate in making it a part of the main show.