Last year, someone in our neighborhood put up a big round hay bale in their yard with the words “Don’t Skip Thanksgiving” on it in safety orange spray paint. The message was clear. And although we give lip service to this often, it seems as a culture we have relegated the holiday for giving thanks to second class holiday status.
It’s my belief that most things that deserve a day to be celebrated are entitled to as much time as you want to take. My husband, Richard, had to get used to that with me because we might celebrate a birthday that fell on a Thursday anywhere from the weekend before to the weekend after, or both. It’s not a birth “day,” it’s a birth season. Same goes for Christmas, especially Christmas. With distances and schedules, it seems more common than not that family gatherings are not on Christmas or Christmas Eve.
But more than just the actual event when people gather to celebrate, I move that all special days be given at least a week. Do I hear a second? And top of my list for this category is Thanksgiving. Yes, we have the days after to enjoy leftovers, but I’m talking about making time for gratitude. Making gratitude and thanksgiving a true, integral part of not just the holiday, but ourselves.
So starting today, I challenge you to list one thing you’re grateful for each day to focus on in preparation for next Thursday. Take a day to give thanks for family or friends or dreams coming true or material comforts or unexpected inspirations or beauty or nature. And the list goes on and on. By Thanksgiving Day, your spirit should be overflowing with such joy that those around you can’t help but experience it with you.
There will be plenty of time to focus on the next special season soon enough. Enjoy this one. Make it a week long celebration. Be thankful. Give thanks.