Every year my swell pal Suldog puts out a plea for merchandisers and friends to stand up and refuse to allow the Christmas hoopla to encroach upon the reflective time of gratitude that is Thanksgiving. I have long agreed with this position so I participate, albeit it sometimes later rather than sooner.
At my house I am considered a wee bit of a grinch for my policing of Christmas doings. Mr. Lime and the kids all know that once school starts there is to be no playing of Christmas music or watching of Christmas movies in this house. Mr. Lime dearly loves certain Christmas movies and likes to watch them all year round. I'm ok with watching Chevy Chase fall through his attic ceiling or do battle with a squirrel leaping out of a Christmas tree in July but once everyone is wearing their back to school uniforms I'm not ok with it until AFTER Thanksgiving.
The first cold day we had here this fall provoked Calypso to begin playing Christmas carols while she sat in front of the fire. I threatened to send her to the North Pole if she didn't knock it off. She told me she'd tell Santa to put coal in my stocking if I did.
My family has been known to hide and pretend they don't know me when I go into a store with them during the autumn and here Christmas music playing. I became nearly apoplectic this year when I saw Christmas trees being set up as the back-to-school merchandise was put on clearance in September. "Really, Mom, it'll be ok. Just breathe. Inhale...exhale....avert your eyes. (looking at other shoppers)...She forgot her meds this morning."
Now, is all this because I dislike Christmas itself? Not at all. I love it. I just want things in their proper season and not just because I am rigid about things. I just think it's important to take time to consider the blessings we have in our life, meditate on them, and express gratitude for them. Since we have Thanksgiving on the calendar in November I relish the time during that month to engage in the process of being grateful.
September is so busy with going back to school and finding the new rhythm of the school year. October is a blaze of glory in colors and my favorite month just for sheer beauty. The shortening days of November in it's golden, slanting light seem perfect for inner reflection, for thought, for pause before winter. I have never been one who likes to be rushed through anything. I am a fan of efficiency but not of cramming so much into a space of time that I feel breathless trying to get through it all. I like the pauses, the silences, the chance to consider. The days leading up to Thanksgiving seem to offer that chance with the bonus of allowing for the meditation to focus on gratitude rather than crass consumerism. I have no intention of letting it be yanked from me.
So you can call me a grinch but Thanksgiving comes first.