Thursday, November 19, 2009

Be Here Now: Is Christmas Before Thanksgiving?

I admit there are days when I forget what day of the week it is. And as for the date, well that is the purpose for the calendar prominently displayed on the refrigerator. Being disabled and spending most of my time at home, I am a tad bit disconnected with routines and responsibilities that would keep the day and date drilled into my mind. Well, that and the fibro-fog doesn't help either...

So when I saw all these commercials on TV advertising for the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/etc. holiday season today, I had to stop and remind myself that Thanksgiving was next week. The early arrival of these commercials had me really confused for a moment, and feeling sad and disappointed too. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since I completed my cancer treatment back in August 1988. It seems a shame that it has become less important than the big Christmas shopping season.

But then again, the act of thanksgiving is a more of a learned behavior. I didn't become a fan until surviving cancer drove home how important it was for me to count my blessings and say a huge thank you to whatever divine entity was responsible for my creation and cancer survival. In contrast to Christmas, it seems no one has to teach us to want (beg, plead, coerce, blackmail, steal) presents. No, for a true thanksgiving to happen, it seems someone or something must teach us how to be grateful. Each year I reflect on how fortunate I am that my teacher, cancer, didn't end my thanksgivings 21 years ago.

Photographed by Daniel Case 2006-11-25 (:en:Bl...Image via Wikipedia

So please, let's get these holidays back in the order they belong. The Halloween decor should not have to share space with Christmas decorations, although the juxtaposition of the celebration of the birth of Jesus and gory, gruesome death is thought provoking. Yes, I love listening to Christmas music, but not when I am at the grocery store shopping for my Thanksgiving turkey. I know all the retailers and economists want this to be a successful holiday season, so perhaps to ensure this they should take a moment to be grateful for their blessings around their Thanksgiving tables before plunging all of us into the insanity and madness that is Christmas shopping.

As for me, I will once again count my blessings and focus on gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. My thoughts won't turn to Christmas until the following day. Then I'll do my best to support the economy
by shopping fibro-friendly ways: online and early.

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