It’s that magical time of year again, and no – I don’t mean Christmas

Those that know me well also know one of my pet peeves is that Thanksgiving has become little more than a speed bump on the way to Christmas.

I’ve written in the past about my love of the Thanksgiving holiday so I’ll spare you the sound of me on my soapbox.  This time, I’ll tell you how I am celebrating Thanksgiving.

In October, a friend told me that she was going to post a comment every day for the month of November on Facebook about what she was thankful for.  I thought it was a great way to protest the dismissal of Thanksgiving and to celebrate the holiday all month long so I decided to join in.  I missed the first day but quickly got on track with a double posting for Day 2 of both Day 1 and Day 2.  I’m up to Day 22 and haven’t missed a day, yet.  There have been some days where I had to decide between more than one thing to write about and other days where the thing I was thankful for may have seemed a bit of a stretch.  Regardless of what anyone reading my daily posts might think of them, the one thing that has come out of this exercise is my realization of how blessed I really am.  Each day as I reflect on the things that I am thankful for, I find that I am less interested in the things that I don’t have or didn’t achieve.

In addition to the daily post on Facebook, my kids and I have started talking about Thanksgiving on a much deeper level than this event that happened in Massachusetts, or Virginia.  (Sorry, I am a Virginian and my father’s side of the family can trace roots back to the both the Mayflower AND the founding of Virginia – so I have to get my dig in.)

The message that I am trying to drive home to my boys is to be thankful for the people and the things in your life.  To treasure them and take care of them and to always be grateful for what you have and what is given to you.  My husband tends to bring it back to giving thanks to God for all that we have, and while I have no objection to that viewpoint, I want to bring the discussion with the kids to a level that applies to everyone -Christian, non-Christian, and Atheists.  At its basic level – the concept of gratitude seems to be missing in our society and if I impart little else to these boys, this is one concept I really want them to understand.

I’ve heard the objections to Thanksgiving as a national holiday and I can respect where people are coming from with their objections, but I believe that it’s not too much to ask that we as a country have one day where we pause and take a hard look around us to find at least one thing that we are thankful for and acknowledge it.  It stinks that the next day is all about insane consumerism, but that is a topic for another blog.

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope that each of you has 30 days worth of things to be thankful for!

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project and contract manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead writes paranormal romance among other genres. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.

7 Comments

Filed under blogging, Mairead Wapole

7 responses to “It’s that magical time of year again, and no – I don’t mean Christmas

  1. What a lovely idea, to focus on one thing for which you’re grateful every day of November. I once tried to keep a “gratitude journal” — I think it was an Oprah thing — in which I wrote one thing before I went to sleep. Then I realized I was “gaming” it, eg, “What a beautiful sunset – oh good, I can use that as my gratitude thing tonight.” Now I just try to feel it when I feel it. BTW, I once read that since you can only feel one emotion at a time, focusing on gratitude or love is a good way to force the more negative ones out of the way. And I also like the idea of “bringing the discussion to a level that applies to everyone.” Nice piece; thank you.

  2. I’ve enjoyed your posts on FB. I’ve been doing mostly the same thing on my blog, doing an entire alphabet of gratitude — one letter per day.

    Christmas decorations went up in the neighborhood around here the day after Halloween. I imagine one of these days, they will go up before Halloween, combining the two holidays with ghosts flitting around the manger, witches bringing gifts, snowmen wearing scary masks and Santas wearing orange and black. This way, we skip Thanksgiving altogether!

  3. I like the facebook idea. Maybe I’ll do that next year.

  4. Lovely post! This month, when we’re saying our prayers at church, Mark (my husband) has been giving people a chance to say aloud (or not) what they’re thankful for. It’s been good for me to be reminded that prayers are just about asking for what we want, however noble and selfless our petitions, but about giving thanks.

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