I used to work in retail. I always had to laugh about how the seasons were all mixed up. Swimsuits arrived in January. Back-to-School started almost before kids got out for the Summer. Winter coats went on sale in June and were scarce as hens’ teeth if you needed one in winter. The only one that really bothered me was when the decorations and elevator “Holiday Music” came out, accompanied by the hype and panic to “get your shopping done” right after Halloween. They don’t wait that long, now.
It’s not that I’m Scrooge. In fact, I have been known to crank up the Christmas music at any time of the year. Real Christmas music–I’m not talking about Rudolph, Frosty, or Santa-Baby. I don’t need snow and a limited-time sale to get me in the mood to celebrate Peace on Earth and Good Tidings of Great Joy that Christ, The Savior Is Born! I’m all for keeping Christmas year-round. It’s just that I get tired of rushing past Thanksgiving because society has to maximize the calendar of shopping days. When Thanksgiving traditions are replaced by the frenzy of the newest National Holiday: Black Friday, something’s wrong.
Certain holidays have a purpose that’s more than just an excuse to overindulge on sugar, party, or to line the pockets of the opportunistic. My soul needs the regular nourishment of remembering things that offer inner peace and happiness and a refuge from the rat race for a day or two.
If I find myself wishing I had time to recuperate after the holiday, it should be an indication that I’m not celebrating it right. I read this from an unknown source: “If you find yourself a little irritated or overwhelmed it’s a sign that you’re spending less time with God and more time with this world.”
So for now, I need to breathe it in, slow down, refocus on counting a few of my blessings and remind myself where happiness really comes from. I love Thanksgiving because it’s not about getting dinner out of the way so I can focus on the other business of the day. It is the business of the day, at least one day a year, to acknowledge that because of the bounty of God’s gifts, my family and I have the privilege to work together to prepare and enjoy a delicious meal together, and to spend some time to take notice of other generosities of His loving hands to us.