When I was young, Halloween decorations came down November 1st, but Mom left up fall leaves and pumpkins. She added a cornucopia with gourds on the table. Before Santa Clauses set up their chairs in the local department stores, there was a holiday for sharing a feast with your extended family and being grateful for your many blessings.
This year, as soon as the tombstones, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns were packed up, red and green lights appeared on the houses in my neighborhood. Did I miss something?
Now more than ever we need to be thankful. Over the past two Covid years, I have lost family and friends to the virus and other causes. Many of us have attended more funerals, some virtual, than we ever have in our lives.
A reason to be thankful. We are still here to gather with family and friends, eat turkey, watch football, and savor pumpkin pie with mounds of whipped crème.
We all have our own reasons to be thankful.
This is my first year as a full-time writer. Thanks to a generous retirement incentive from my school district, I was able to retire early in May. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t had to balance a paying job with my creative passion.
My youngest daughter had twins this year. I am so thankful to have time to spend with them. More time than I ever had when I was raising my own children, part of that time as a widow.
My husband and I have six children and nine grandchildren. We are both so thankful that none of our children lost their jobs during the pandemic shutdown. Our grandchildren are healthy.
When we quiet our hearts, we can find thankfulness. Being grateful gladdens our hearts and silences our complaints. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I’ll have Christmas music blaring through the house after next Thursday. But before we rush out to buy those perfect gifts and unwrap the presents under the tree, shouldn’t we start first with grateful hearts?