Two weeks ago, a local radio station started playing Christmas music. Outrage doesn't quite begin to cover how I felt.
I love Christmas music. Love, love, love it. But before Thanksgiving?
The day after Halloween, I saw a Christmas tree up in someone's house. Christmas lights have appeared on numerous houses (I get that good weather is the perfect time to put them up, but do you have to light them?). Stores bombard us with Christmas items for sale, ads on t.v. include jingle bells and elves and Santa Claus, all of it well before Thanksgiving. The whole thing makes me sad.
Thanksgiving has been lost in the shuffle. Even the most glorious of seasons, autumn, is rudely interrupted by this barrage of Christmas commercialization.
So I choose to fight back.
When I go out to my mailbox, I shuffle through the leaves on the lawn and listen to them crinkle and crackle. I absorb the deep colors of autumn, the burnt umber and orange and brown and gold. I savor fall flavors and ignore the beguiling scents of pine trees and Christmas cookies. I don't listen to Christmas music. I don't buy Christmas-related items. I don't even do Christmas shopping.
I try very, very hard not to think about Christmas at all until Thanksgiving is over. Then it's fair game.
Rushing into Christmas spoils the magic of that holiday. It's like sneaking into your parents' bedroom and finding out what your Christmas gifts are two weeks before Christmas morning. What fun is opening a present when you already know what it is?
There's a magic about Thanksgiving, too. It's a different kind of magic. It's a gentle, soothing kind, where we gather with family and friends and enjoy being together without the hassle of worrying about if he or she will like this present, or if you spent too much money on one person's gift and will the other person be jealous, and on and on. (And yes, family tensions are often there whether or not gift giving is a part of the celebration). It's a magic that allows us to relax and eat a good meal, to visit and play games, to laugh and talk, to watch a football game on t.v. or play one outside (weather permitting!).
In short, there's magic in being thankful. It permeates our soul and makes us realize how truly blessed we are.
This year, don't forget the magic of Thanksgiving. Count your blessings. Savor those last scents of autumn. Run through the leaves and listen to them crunch underfoot. Toss a football around. Eat that spice cake full of autumn's flavors. Laugh and talk with your family. And wish autumn a proper farewell.
Then, when Thanksgiving is over, jump into the fun, exciting magic of Christmas and savor every moment.