Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Forgotten Holiday

                 How did it happen that we started skipping right from Halloween to Christmas? It seems fitting in our culture to have a holiday of thanks swallowed up by holidays of spending and getting. Now, that is not to say that people don't do great things around Christmas, and that good things don't happen. But, why only at Christmas? Does it seem odd to anyone else that "Black Friday" is the day after Thanksgiving, the day after we are supposed to be counting our blessings (as we should everyday)? The very next day people trample each other to spend money and buy more stuff in a country with far too much stuff already.

                I like Christmas. The lights, the trees, the fun and family. However, Christmas is not what it was intended to be. Companies cash in on the holidays that will bring them the biggest profit. They want to push us right past being grateful and want us to feel guilty for not spending hundreds of dollars on each child. We are able to spend roughly $100 on each of our kids and often it is much less than that. We opt for homemade gifts and spending time together. I don't want my children to feel that they are "missing out" on tons of toys because society says things=happiness. I. Will. Rebel. 

                 This is the challenge I issue to you. Spend November focusing on thankfulness and not on Christmas. Focus on blessings and not buying. Focus on family and not food. I admit I too, get caught up in the Christmas section of a store and letting my mind wander. I get the urge to buy Christmas lights the second they are put on display. But, we are starting family traditions for Thanksgiving and they are restoring a grateful attitude in our household.

                We like to make what we call our "Thankful tree". I make a cut out of a tree trunk and branches out of paper bags and tape it to the wall. Trust me, no artistic background is required. We make the tree about 2-3' tall and tape it up on one of the main walls in the house. Then we trace our hands on construction paper and cut them out. These are our leaves. We then write something we are thankful for on each "leaf" and plaster the tree with them. We add more throughout the month as we think of things. It is a great motivator for kids and adults alike to really consider their blessings and to be able to visualize just how many blessings there are.

            So as we are in November, and we are tempted to be pulled away from being thankful-sincerely thankful, for the things that we have, lets rebel. Let's rise up and teach our children and families HOW to be thankful. 



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