This year everyone seems to have put up their Christmas decor early…however not in this household. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want to decorate for Christmas early but I feel like thanksgiving always gets forgotten. Maybe more so this year than any other year…I understand it’s been a hard year for everyone and everyone probably feels that they don’t have anything to be thankful for but that’s why we need the reminder to give thanks more than ever. We need to find things to be grateful for in the midst of chaos, sadness and heart ache. In addition, as I am looking into the past of how the tradition of thanksgiving came about I’m finding out that 90 Wampanoag people came to the doors of 50 settlers to sit down and feast. And according to the britannica “this was a rather disorderly affair, but it sealed a treaty between the two groups that lasted until King Philip’s War (1675–76), in which hundreds of colonists and thousands of Native Americans lost their lives.”
What I see behind the action of stepping at the door of their enemy is reconciliation, kindness, and forgiveness from the hands of war. Even after all the hurt and slaughter of their people, the Wampanoag people’s actions to step out in faith to meet the “enemy” at their doors brought around a change in atmosphere and an action that healed instead of wounded further. Not to say that what happened was sad nor did they stay in good standing but they made the initiation to make peace. They feasted, shot guns together and had a good time. This tells me that we have a choice in life. We can either focus on the negative aspects of life or we can choose to live a life of thankfulness and kindness, even when the person may not deserve it. We may choose to look at 2020 with tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts but I personally know how hard times can help shape our attitudes and mindset…for better or for worse.
So this year I decided to not put up my Christmas tree early. I will wait to put it up after thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas. I love the songs, the food, and the comfort it brings. But To me I don’t want Christmas to be the bandaid that just covers the wound of 2020 and doesn’t actually heal anything. And since Christmas will be looking different for us this year I don’t mind the separation. I don’t mind having the two holidays look separate so I can enjoy the uniqueness of both. There’s something about separating the two holidays that appeals to me. I want to savor the good moments in 2020 even if they are surrounded by sadness. I want to be reminded constantly that 2020 is a year to be thankful, not only for myself but to honor those who have loss their lives due to covid. This may be just me but I don’t think those people who died would want us to skip over what we are thankful for and just go to Christmas. I think they would want us to value each other, to acknowledge the pain, to care for those in need and to express gratitude for the many blessings we do have. Not to say you aren’t being thankful I just don’t think thanksgiving should be passed over. Maybe that wasn’t the purpose you had in mind when placing the Christmas decor up but that’s what came to my mind. On an ending note, If you chose to put up the Christmas tree before thanksgiving that’s fine and I hope it brings you joy but this is why I haven’t jumped on the trend to place it up early. How are you giving thanks this season?
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