Did someone cancel Thanksgiving?
On Oct. 29, I took my little ones to an outdoor shopping center. I expected cute fall decorations and festivities. Instead, I got 20-feet of tinsel cheer. Yep, there it stood, a Christmas tree next to an empty Santa house.
My 4-year-old son's eyes widened. "Is Santa going to wear a costume and go trick-or-treating," he asked. Because yeah, 'tis not the season.
"No," I said. "And it's not Christmas yet. We still have to do Thanksgiving."
My son looked at me, disappointed, and kept walking. I felt sad for him. As a girl, I loved Thanksgiving. I loved getting together with relatives, watching the Macy's parade and saying grace before a big meal. I loved anticipating Christmas. My children may never know the feeling.
I know Thanksgiving's roots (the imaginary original feast) make it problematic. The whole pilgrims and Indians motif, along with being historically inaccurate, is offensive. I know not everyone wants to celebrate turkey murder. I know the color scheme and decor are well, meh.
That said, I am not giving up on Thanksgiving. November continues harvest season, a time to thank God, share with others and count blessings not dollars. Yes, Thanksgiving is the space between. Between candy overload and gift shopping. Between the terrifying and the holy. I want that time. I need it to keep my sanity. My kids need it.
If we skip Thanksgiving, not only does Christmas seem less special, the religious meaning deflates like a snowman yard balloon. I don't want my children to take Christmas for granted. I want the holiday to resonate in their hearts. And I want them to like Thanksgiving. So I will do my best to make November special. I will give thanks and wait.
Contact Sarah Whitman at firstname.lastname@example.org.