Like every human that grew up with Christian roots, I have always loved Christmas. Or, more accurately, I USED to love Christmas – until it became the all-consuming retail beast demanding we lay down sacrifice after sacrifice to feed its insatiable, screaming hunger. Halloween is barely cleared away before the Christmas hoopla begins, and Thanksgiving? Well, now it seems like Thanksgiving is just in the way - utterly and completely devoured by The Grinch that Stole Gratitude with his freaking Black Friday deals.
All around me, Thanksgiving has become all about SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS - scarfing pumpkin pie while rifling through newspapers and scrolling on phones to decide where to go, at what time and exactly the best strategy of how to divide and conquer to GET THE STUFF. The stuff that we want and they want and we have to have and they have to have – the stuff that we are so desperate to receive and to give, hoping that it will make us all feel that feeling that we want to feel that only having more stuff will make us feel. That feeling that automatically comes, in full force – with bells and angelic choirs, when we shut up, calm down, and feel… GRATITUDE. Not just express gratitude but actually experience it.
Ideally we would make that a practice all day, every day – and many of us do. Most people don’t. But, aren’t we at least supposed to on Thanksgiving?? Haven’t we all agreed that we have that one special day set aside for Gratitude? Not freaking BLACK FRIDAY???
This has bothered me for years but now, suddenly, my iPhone has decided to proclaim Friday, November 29th, Black Friday, as an official holiday? Oh, hell no. I will celebrate and sing and decorate and bake and, yes, shop this year with the rest of the elves – and I will enjoy it, and may even gratefully love it again – but not until I’ve been OFFICIALLY good and grateful first. Therefore, I am proclaiming the next 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving dedicated to Gratitude, complete with 8 cows gratefully milked and 11 lords that have thankfully put their feet up – or something like that.
I would be very grateful if you felt like joining in. Thank you, Gracias, Merci, Arigato, Danke, Grazie, Mahalo… and a partridge in a pear tree.