Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, and Make Room for Thanksgiving!

Cool, I get to blog on yet another holiday. Halloween has always been one of my favorites. As a child, it meant getting to wear a fun costume, and going trick-or-treating--I.E. getting that important yearly stash of candy. ;) It also meant the beginning of the holiday season. Even as a child, I understood that once Halloween had come and gone, the traditional turkey day, Thanksgiving, was just around the corner, and then the all-important event, Christmas!!! It was indeed a fun time of year.

As an adult, I can truthfully say that I still enjoy this time of year. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. It's not too hot (especially when it snows early on) and the trees are gorgeous in the nearby canyons. Plus as the holidays approach, one by one, I get to decorate for each occasion, and fix fun food.

My oldest son came home over the weekend and he was pleased to see that despite the craziness of my life at the moment, I had still managed to decorate the house for Halloween. True, my decorations possibly fall into the "sappy" category (I tend to go for humor and light-hearted fun, not the morbid stuff that is also available for Halloween decor) but that's how I like it.

Tomorrow, I'll take down the Halloween decorations, and put up all of my Thanksgiving ornamentation. Thanksgiving is also an important family holiday for our clan, since some of our ancestors were there for that famed first gathering between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. (We actually have ancestors from both sides of the table.)

I only have one complaint this time of year---have you noticed how Thanksgiving gets crowded out of things these days? In the stores you can see that it's already going from Halloween to Christmas. It makes me want to drag out my little blue stool I use to work in the garden, stand upon it, and protest--"WHAT ABOUT THANKSGIVING?!!!" I was raised with an understanding that this time of year, following the harvest, etc. it's important to offer gratitude for the blessings in our lives. Thanksgiving in our clan has always been of greater importance than Halloween, and almost as wonderful as Christmas.

True, during these stressful times, when most families are being hit with numerous challenges, it can be difficult, coming up with a list of items to be grateful for, but I believe that an attitude of gratitude is crucial to survive the days ahead. I suspect during that first Thanksgiving, hearts were fairly tender. My 11th great-grandmother (Elizabeth Tilley) was no doubt still grieving over the loss of her parents after that first, disastrous winter in the new Pilgrim colony. Her mother perished in 1620, and her father passed away a couple of months later during the January of 1621. I'm sure it was a difficult thing for fourteen-year-old newly orphaned Elizabeth to sit down to a small feast that celebrated life and harvest during the fall of 1621, and yet, she did. She later married another Pilgrim survivor, John Howland, and together they raised a large family that included my 10th great-great grandmother, Hope Howland. I'm sure this young lady was aptly named. ;)

So as Halloween activities wind down after tonight, let's all take a moment to consider the blessings in our lives. Make room between Halloween and Christmas for Thanksgiving. Today's wordly wisdom would have us skip over this important celebration of gratitude. Perhaps if more of us protested this trend,  our nation would notice that Thanksgiving is much more than another chance to feast. It is a time of year when we need to extend our gratitude to the One who makes everything possible in our lives.


Anna Buttimore said...

Cheri, how wonderful to know so much about your ancestors. It was fascinating to see that glimpse into their lives.

Consider yourself lucky, though. We have had Christmas stuff in the shops since September. Halloween isn't big here, and we don't have Thanksgiving at all.

Cheri J. Crane said...

I do enjoy learning about my ancestors, Anna. Their example often gives me hope in surviving the adventures in my own life. ;)

I'm sad you don't get to enjoy a holiday like Thanksgiving. Maybe you could start a new trend across the pond. =D