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Mom's Time Out

Is it really December?

Mary Angel

(12/2013) Is it really December? I know you are all thinking the same thingÖwhat happened to the rest of the year? Whatever the reason, the rest of the year has disappeared faster than my morning cup of coffee. With the coming of December I would normally write an article about Christmas. This month however I want to ask a question that has been posed to me by many children this month. The question is "why canít we just give Thanksgiving a chance?"

Please donít get me wrong about December. This is truly my favorite time of year. I love everything about the Christmas holiday. Good food with family and friends, seeing the kids open their presents from Santa, the excitement of opening another drawer in our advent calendar, and placing baby Jesus in the manger. When several people (some adults) started questioning the speed at which everyone seems to be surpassing Thanksgiving I started to wonder.

It is almost a contradiction in terms that we, as a society, are bulldozing over a holiday that is all about being thankful. Maybe it is just my opinion but being thankful for someone or something should involve us slowing down not speeding up. When someone says thank you to me, and I have paid very close attention since starting this article, they have a very genuine pause. There is sincerity to true thankfulness that I think many of us take for granted. I often see people take their loved ones for granted, myself included. Whether it is the day to day things they do for us, like the fact that my husband loves to make dinner for his family, or the special little gestures, like an "I Love You Mommy" note scribbled on a napkin from a child. However, when someone says, "thank you" (not a courteous "thank you") but a sincere heart all in "thank you" do we really appreciate it.

Thanksgiving is holiday that comes every year on the last Thursday of November like clockwork. Every year we get together with family. Over the years, which family we get together with has changed as life as changed, but it is always spent with good food and great family. The past few years we go to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my Mother-in-law, Brother-in-law and his family, and my entire brood. The kids all have a blast together and the adults reminisce and catch up. You see, they live only an hour and a half away but with all six of our kids involved in different things we donít find the time to get together like we would like. So for us Thanksgiving is an almost magical time. We get to see the kids play like they have spent every Saturday hanging out together, like no time has passed since there last video game marathon. This time, on this one day of the year, is something we are all truly thankful for. For me it is what Thanksgiving is all about.

So why then is our society in such a hurry to push through, or simply surpass the Thanksgiving holiday. I have explained to my kids that because Black Friday is such a big financial day for our retail market and our countries finances as a whole it is important for the retailers to advertise well before Black Friday. I, of course, did not word it this way. It was more of a, "because the stores need to sell lots of stuff on Black Friday, they need to tell people about it ahead of time" kind of conversation. I also pointed out that they like to make their Christmas lists before Thanksgiving to make sure they get to Santa in time and how would they do that without all of the commercials on television and all of the advertising in the stores. They seemed to understand all of that but not understand why there isnít concurrent "advertising" for Thanksgiving. "Why canít people just give Thanksgiving a chance?" This is the question that keeps popping up.

I think it has everything to do with our society trying to rush a more fiscally productive holiday. I totally understand the need for this, but I also understand that this doesnít change the fact that Thanksgiving is a belittled holiday. I donít understand why Thanksgiving canít be given its chance in the spot light. Maybe a few more Hallmark movies about being thankful at Thanksgiving or taking the lead from Charlie Brown (who does have a Thanksgiving movie). Even just the smallest little Thanksgiving token acknowledgement would be an improvement.

If that wasnít enough, moving Black Friday sooner and sooner is definitely a step in the wrong direction. It used to be that people got up the Friday morning after Thanksgiving at the crack of dawn (or close to it) to head out and start Christmas shopping. Note that I said the day after Thanksgiving. Then a while back it was stated that Black Friday would start at midnight. So after eating Thanksgiving dinner everyone should immediately go to sleep so they could wake up a few hours later to start shopping all through the night. The finally straw (or so I would like to believe) now we are starting our black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving around supper time if not before. I guess we are asking all of those people, who have to work on Thanksgiving Day at retail stores, to be Thankful a bit faster so they can get to work.

A small glimmer of hope came in the form of childhood enjoyment. A commercial for very possibly the first ever Thanksgiving movie came on the television and my kids were in awe. One of my oldest announced that someone was finally giving Thanksgiving a shot. I donít know if Thanksgiving was being given a shot or if someone just found another holiday to make money on. In either case my kids were a little encouraged and regardless we look forward every year to spending that day with family just like we did this year. So happy Thanksgiving!

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