(Doodle by Lee)As it happens every year, the world fully overlooks Thanksgiving in anticipation of the Christmas season. The stores are fully decking the halls at the end of October. At the local Walgreens, you can get discount Halloween candy and tree garland in the same aisle. Something is inherently wrong with that in my mind.
I love anticipation as much as the next person, but never allow myself to really even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving has past. Traditionally, the weekend after the turkey is when I can mentally shift gears and wrap my heart and mind around the approaching Christmas season.
This Christmas will be different. My family has made a conscious decision that we won't be buying gifts for one another. My mom and dad will get some things for the boys and of course, I'll have things for Sam under the tree, but we will not be exchanging gifts otherwise. The truth of the matter is that none of us "needs" anything and with the economy as it is, going into debt for the sake of finding that "perfect gift" just seems superfluous at this point. It certainly takes the pressure off, that's for sure. My dad is the hardest to buy for, and I've spent countless Christmases in the past worrying about what on earth to get for him. It's not what the season should be about.
So, here I sit, with a smile on my face, listening to Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong (you really must check out this CD) and smiling with contentment. Tis the season to be thankful for many things, but not for the gifts we are given. Instead, I'll think about what I can give that does not cost a single penny and fills my heart. And, that thought is what will fill me with the joy of the coming season.