There are 8 days until my Thanksgiving guests arrive. 10 until we gather around the table to give thanks for the blessings of the year. And yet, it seems as if the Christmas season is already in full swing.
Part of that feeling is an occupational hazard – if the church actually waited until Advent to begin planning Advent or wrote a Christmas Eve worship service the night before, the myriad of logistics required to make Christmas Eve Christmas Eve would not be accomplished. So around Halloween, if not earlier plans are laid. I get that. After 4 1/2 years of ordained ministry, this being my 5th Christmas, I get that. So Thanksgiving gets swallowed up in the planning a little bit.
This year feels different somehow – almost like we are skipping Thanksgiving. Not we as a church, but we as society. It used to be that the “Christmas Commercials” had the decency to wait to make their annual appearance until after we had washed the dishes from the turkey feast. Last night as I was watching “Harry Potter” I was startled to hear the notes from “Silent Night” in one advertisement. Any talk of “holiday meals” seemed to have a color scheme of red and green, not the fall colors of orange and brown. And so I wonder when and how we decided to skip this day.
I love Thanksgiving. I love the smells and the meal and that there are no gifts attached. I love that it is about conversation, good food, and naming our blessings. I cling to the traditions of my mom saying grace, just like her dad did before her, and using the turkey platter that my stepfather ate his turkey from when he was a boy.
So, while I know that we may all need a little Christmas this year, I’m not ready to let go of Thanksgiving yet. I’m not ready to let Christmas music in the stores dictate what holiday it is on my calendar. The turkey platter is coming to my house this year for the first time, and I am looking forward to it.