My AirBnb host has 11 of her 12 children home for the holiday. There is hustle and bustle down the stairs while dishes clang and laughter abounds. The fireplace in the dining room burns almost nonstop providing a respite and break in between chores and events. Song and the sound of a harp punctuate the idyllic family gathering.
Michael has two trees decorated. He admittedly could not muster up the spirit to put up the other trees and decorate his house in his usual holiday finery. Health issues and distance are barriers to the attendance of the holiday kickoff that he usually orchestrates as Thanksgiving.
In Starbucks this morning, I am among many singles parked here for coffee and a touch of holiday warmth. Eggnog lattes have been available for awhile, but I consider today the kickoff of the holiday season. I’m still undecided if I will put up a tree this year or decorate my house. The last five years I’ve tended to enjoy other people’s trees and to make time for friends instead of the solitary company at home.
I got Sirius radio this year, and I’ve been tuned in to Christmas music stations for the past couple weeks. I still can’t decide if country Christmas music resonates most with me or the 70s/80s holiday music or even classical or Elvis tunes. It all lifts my spirits which is, I suppose, what God and the light of the holidays should do.
Thanksgiving also marks the day that most people feel emboldened to light their Christmas lights. A woman at work was dying to put up her artificial Christmas tree the day after Halloween. She just bought a new one, and it made her so happy that she wanted to start the season early. Her husband said she couldn’t put it up until after Thanksgiving. Her face was filled with anticipation, and I couldn’t see why it would hurt him if she stole a little joy by kicking off the holiday season early. I told her to do whatever made her happy. Life is too damn short for a bunch of rules that don’t make any sense.
Saint Joseph will light the bluff in the next week or so. I can walk for months in the snow under the holiday lights. They don’t take them down until around Valentine’s Day. I look forward to months of snowy weather, warm woolen mittens, eggnog lattes, hot chocolate with marshmallows, hearty soups and gumbo, and laughter with friends among the lights.
I hope that you have a wonderful day with your friends and family. Don’t talk about politics and do ask them what makes them happy. Thank the turkey for giving its life so that you can enjoy yours. If you are lonely, hop out to Starbucks and smile at the barista and the other folks looking for connection. Remember that we won the lottery being born in this country. Many people in this world are dodging explosions this morning. If someone wants to jump the gun and decorate the Christmas tree before you are ready, just chill. It’s not about the damn tree.
Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all! Let the Holidays begin.