Several weeks ago I was standing in line at Bartell's Pharmacy, and I heard the woman in front of me tell the cashier, "Well, this is the last Christmas gift I need to purchase. I'm all done!" I stood there in shock and a little bit of awe...or maybe it was envy.
Now don't get me wrong, if I'm out and about shopping, especially in the fall, and see something that would be a nice gift for someone I know, I do but it. But other than that, I don't usually start Christmas shopping until early December. I really hate the crowds and traffic on Black Friday, so I don't shop that day, or even that weekend. You would normally find me home those days, taking down all the fall decor...cleaning...and getting the Christmas boxes out. Unlike the retail stores, I am a firm believer of letting Thanksgiving have its day. To be completely honest, I admit I be thinking about my Christmas decor for the coming season, but nothing goes up until the day after Thanksgiving.
There are several reasons for this:
- Thanksgiving is such a special holiday and I want to focus on thankfulness.
- The first Sunday in Advent always kicks off the Christmas season form me.
- Fresh cedar and pine greens are a big part of our Christmas decor, which become dry by Christmas day, even when I wait until early December.
Inspired by the woman at Bartell's, I decided to do something different this year by doing the bulk of my shopping in November. I'm almost done! I must admit if feels good...knowing that December won't be quite so hectic. Though the shopping may be mostly done, the bags and boxes are just laying in a heap in my bedroom...sigh. My goal is to wrap them next week so the Advent season will be more sane, and hopefully sacred.
Our church always has a Thanksgiving Eve service...very casual and relaxed. After Pastor opens the service with a brief devotional, the microphone is open to anyone to get up and share what they are thankful for...even the kids. They can be pretty hysterical sometimes...love it! Others are very touching...a picture of life with all its joys, trials, and losses. Afterwards we all troop down to the reception hall for pie...yum! I always come away from that service thinking of I Thess. 5:18, 'give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Happy Thanksgiving! No matter what you may be going through, may you sense God's hand of blessing and be thankful.