It was just Halloween. But Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed to have tagged along for extra candy.
Tis’ the season! Wait: which season?
It’s early November, people. I mean, seriously, our favorite stores just put away the pre-sharpened Ticonderoga #2 pencils and Crayola markers, yet already the Christmas decor has seemingly infringed upon autumn. Yup, all the bells and jingles.
Thanksgiving is suffering from Middle Child Syndrome.
Halloween rolls in like the younger sibling: full of charisma and charm, in full party-mode! Christmas, obviously the older sibling, looms responsibly tall, revered and sacred.
Thanksgiving? Well…it’s stuffed in the middle. Turduckenned.
It’s not the timing that’s problematic–each holiday has its own month afterall. It’s the blending of the “holiday season” that gets me all Grinchy. And I LOVE the holidays! I’m guilty of having my own Christmas tree all lit up on Thanksgiving. Sometimes, the glow of the tree at night is the only thing that keeps me going through our bleak November evenings.
But as I’ve aged, I’m come to appreciate the gravitas behind the sentiment of giving thanks and having more gratitude during the month of November. Can we eat the stuffing before we buy the stuff?
Some days it’s necessary to find the silver lining in life. Or as I tell my students, you gotta get through the goo to get to the good (see what I did there?).
Furthermore, PsychologyToday.com says that there are actually seven scientifically proven benefits of gratitude:
- It opens the door to more relationships
- It improves physical health
- It improves psychological health
- It enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- It helps you sleep better
- It improves self-esteem
- It increases mental strength
We should all give more thanks–every day. Thank God I woke up on the right side of the dirt this morning. Thank God all those practices, aka the endless stream of reminder emails, are over. Thank God for a good book at bedtime and my cozy Ugg blanket. Thank God for “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix. Thank God for my girlfriends, colleagues, and fellow cheer moms who got me through the season with sarcasm and laughter. Laughter really is the best medicine.
And if you don’t believe in God…thank somebody else.
You know how we break out the Advent calendar before Christmas? I think we should have a whole month of thanksgiving.
I challenge each of us to thank someone every day during the month of November.
Write a thank you note and send it snail mail with a pretty little stamp. I found some super cute stationary, hostess gifts and gratitude goodies on Amazon. Check them out under my “Thanksgiving” tab. Emily McDowell’s cards are my absolute favorite! If you want to laugh, just read her stuff. https://www.amazon.com/shop/meg.in.the.mid
In fact, I’ve already begun writing out personalized little sentiments to meaningful people in my life–one for each day remaining in November.
Or if paper isn’t your jam, send a text, a meme, a funny gif to your best girlfriend.
And let’s not forget our boys. Men have been getting such bad press lately, why not thank the good ones who so often get overlooked? Your boyfriend, husband, brother, father. Let’s make some noise for the good boys!
Just thank somebody in our lives who has made our day a little easier, our lives a little more bearable, our world a little more vibrant.
And let’s give the holiday of Thanksgiving the thanks that she deserves.
Let her be celebrated on Thursday, November 22, 2018. All day. Her only day.
From the Turkey Trot, to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit, to the family brunches, lunches, and dinners.
Give her that day.
(*This blog is dedicated to Matt for whom I give thanks for putting up with my anxiety, my waffling, my walls, my solitude, my indecision, my imperfections, and for sticking with me when I may not have even stuck with myself. I thank you. You’re one of the good ones, Pablo.*)