20 November 2012

Still Musing about Thanksgiving . . .

Shared by a friend from India: "Americans are curious. You set aside a national holiday in which to be thankful for everything you have, but then spend at least part of it rushing around, looking to buy more."

Is anybody besides me old enough to remember when Thanksgiving was like the Sabbath? God was praised. Family was central. Food was wonderful, and something for which to be grateful -- and to share. (If we didn't have at least 15 people gathered around our ping pong table it was an off year.) Downtown Prescott was ghostly. The grocery stores were all closed. The two-theatre movie house was silent. (Yes, this was before silent movies!) Nobody thought anything of it because shopping never entered our minds.

I'm not sure the leaders we so often deride are the real problem here in the United States of Advertising. 

15 November 2012

Did I Miss Thanksgiving?

Today is November 15. With Thanksgiving still a week away, I have not yet purchased a turkey, let alone defrosted, roasted, or eaten one. I have not made up every bed, fold out couch, air mattress, and camping cot on the property in anticipation of family coming over the river and through the woods. I have not yet sung We Gather Together in sacrament meeting. (It is one of my all-time favorite hymns; the ward music chairman picks it once a year, if I'm lucky.) I am wearing an orange shirt, living in a house bedecked with pumpkins and pilgrims and handcrafted folkart that reminds me to be grateful. And yet, I hold in my hand a Christmas card.

A. Christmas. Card. And, no, it is not from Walmart or Target or any of the other retailers who were peddling Christmas trees a couple of weeks before I thought to get out the scarecrows. It is from a woman I have known and loved for years and always considered sane. Until now. I noted (through tears) that she wrote the poem on it herself, and I have no doubt it will touch my heart in, say, ten days or so. This afternoon it was all I could do not to toss it in the grinder with the fresh cranberries.

I feel very much like the turkey in this popular cartoon. I love Christmas. I really do. I've published stories of my own Christmas miracles two years in a row now. Perhaps, after Thanksgiving, I'll tell you all about them.