Monday, November 28, 2011

The Spirit of the Season

And I'm not referring to the Christmas season.  No, today I am posting about Thanksgiving!

OK, there ARE a FEW shiny things beginning to show up at my house so I'll go ahead and give you a sneak peak.  But let me warn you first, don't expect too much, it's pretty "slim"!

There are also some pretty yucky things showing up, as well, as we continue to rip out our 20 year old carpet and replace it with laminate floors.  Not sure why we chose this time of year for such an intense DIY project, but it's too late to turn back now.  We're on a roll.   

OK so back to Thanksgiving...

I LOVE Christmas.  Always have.  I love everything about it: The reason, the gifts, music, trees, smells, decorations, lights, secrets, whispers, hints, glitter and sparkle, food, family, shopping, anticipation, and everything else that makes this time of year sooo much fun!! I love it so much that I am guilty as charged for overlooking Thanksgiving!  

I have been married for 32 years and for 30 of those years we have gone to my mom's for Thanksgiving.  The day included:  The most wonderful meal prepared entirely by her, Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, football, naps, family, movies, sales papers and wish lists.  These are memories I will cherish forever and a day! Sounds traditional, typical, and picture perfect, doesn't it?  It was, everything except for my spirit.  It, along with my house, would have been in full swing Christmas mode by then, actually since late October or early November.     

For the very first time in my 31 years of marriage everyone came to my house for Thanksgiving last year.  What made it different than all the other Thanksgivings?  Other than some of the obvious, my mom no longer had to prepare the entire meal.  Everyone brought something.  My dad, step-mom, and mother-in-law joined us.  My house!  It was full of pumpkins instead of trees.  And then there was my spirit as I began to grasp the significance of the day.  Oh yea, and the rolls I set on fire!  Oh well, we survived even though they didn't. 

Last Wednesday in the midst of cleaning and cooking in preparation for the second Thanksgiving meal at my house I received an invitation for lunch to celebrate my step-mom's birthday.  I said,"No".  Evidently I meant to say yes and didn't know it at the time because from the moment I hung up the phone I knew I would call back to get the details.  It was truly an enjoyable time spent taking a break from my chores, eating steak and all the trimmings, and birthday cake, but mainly the fellowship with her, her daughter, and my dad.   I am so thankful I didn't miss out.

Weeks before Thanksgiving God placed something in my heart and then He began to pave the way for me to see it through. I simply wanted to say thank you to my family, but didn't know how to deliver a thank you to 11 people without giving a speech.  Did not want to do that!  May very well have been my second and last time to host Thanksgiving lunch!   He knew that too, so He provided me with a note card that came with an envelope perfect to use for a name place to use at the tables.  Everyone got a personal message from me AND things were a little less chaotic since everyone knew where to sit.  This may sound trivial to many, but I can assure you that when I see God's hand in something it is anything but trivial to me.  Thankful again that I didn't miss an opportunity!

B.J. and I started the day out with prayer asking specifically for our spirits and for His blessing on the day. Did this keep Satan from trying to put his big ole foot in the door? No.  However, it DID keep him from coming in, sitting down, and eating lunch with us.  Our spirits were intact.  They were where they needed to be.  And for that I could not be any more grateful.  Here are some of the sights and sounds of the day:  laughter, smiles, thank-you's, I love you's, hugs, tears, pumpkins galore (my friend gave me many beautiful pumpkins to decorate with that she no longer needed, a nice surprise!), food galore, contentment, and soft cuddly puppies!   
If I were to write one of those essays that I had to write in elementary school, here's what mine would say:
What Thanksgiving Means To Me
For me Thanksgiving is not about the Pilgrims, Indians, John Smith, or Plymouth Rock.  Thanksgiving is not about the Macy's parade, eating turkey, or anticipating the big shopping day. But rather it is about the day that  everyone gets away from the everyday mania of working, school, blogging, or whatever else we do on a regular basis and coming together all under one roof and realizing how blessed we are to be able to do just that. I have missed many years of celebrating Thanksgiving because I skipped over it.  So from now on it will also be the "Day Before" for me.  The day before shopping, decorating, and all the other things I do to celebrate Christmas.  And I promise to not feel like I am missing out when others have homes already adorned with trees while mine is still pumpkin laden.  I never want to miss one more Thanksgiving because I have skipped over it.  But most importantly the day will be about my spirit, a spirit of Thanksgiving!!  The End.  

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