As I sit watching TV with a half eaten bag of Halloween candy, I am reminded, despite the barrage of Christmas commercials and the numerous news reports of people camped out in from of retailers for days to get "early bird" specials on Black Friday, that Thanksgiving Comes First.
And really, it should-- Thanksgiving coming first, that is-- Especially since it's early this year-- November 22nd. To that end, I'm focusing on the things I am thankful for while I ignore the non-stop Christmas music on the easy listening radio stations and the endless stream of Christmas commercializing from retailers on the TV that started well before Halloween. And I'm making a point of NOT Chri$tma$ $hopping before Thanksgiving to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
Instead, in the 22 days leading up to Thanksgiving I am focusing on the many things I am thankful for...
1. Chocolate. Because just one bite helps minimize angst, exhaustion and anxiety.
2. Lumpy turkey gravy. It immediately reminds me of my late great-grandmother who made the best ever.
Dad, Mom, Granny and me - circa 1964-ish.3. Holding hands when my Ohio family says grace before a meal-- even if we're in a restaurant. Stopping everything everyone is doing to hold hands and give thanks for the day and the meal we are about to share brings tears to my eyes.
4. My grandparents-- The ones who always welcomed me with open arms and unconditional love. My first Thanksgiving memories were at the kids' table in their crowded kitchen-- warm from all the cooking and so many people crammed into the small room that the windows "steamed up".
5. Cool whip. 'Nuff said.
6. Jello, because it's not Thanksgiving without it.
7. Friends. True friends. Mine are few but priceless.
8. 100 watt light bulbs-- A lot of them, and having them turned on-- All. The. Time. These days I'm still a little spooked because of these idiots so I'm lighting things up day and night to remind myself how thankful I am to have a home, even if it is all glass.
9. Prayers for my loved ones in need. Knowing that on a daily basis, loving and generous people I have never met, pray-- by name, for the well-being of people I care about is absolutely humbling and deeply appreciated.
10. My sewing machine and the ability to use my arthritic hands well enough to make this quilt for Middle Sister as a house warming present...
11. A whole week of school vacation for Thanksgiving-- Godson (now in high school) and I have big plans. And to say that I am thankful that I'm still cool enough for him to hang out with is an understatement.
12. The old cemetery in my hometown. It's a beautiful place where my dad and his side of the family are all buried. Rain, shine, blazing heat or brutal winters-- it makes no difference. It's the place to go to be surrounded by love and peace.
13. I give thanks for breakfast. Second only to Thanksgiving dinner, it's hands down, my favorite meal.
14. Flannel pajamas and warm fuzzy socks.
Mom and her dog, Noah.15. I'm thankful for strong female role models growing up. I had more than my share-- starting with my mother.
16. All twelve of my nieces and nephews. They full my heart with joy.
17. My brother-- The one to call in case of an emergency. He's rock solid, gives great advice, never judges, and loves with his whole heart.
My siblings and I - circa 1966-ish.18. My three sisters-- I can bare my soul to all of them and vice-a-versa. We are blessed to have each other.
19. Monopoly-- the game, because it's brought multiple generations of my family together after Thanksgiving dinner for more years than I can count.
20. I am very thankful for my husband, the love of my life.
21. My husband. Because it's worth repeating.
22. Grandma Lee's Nude Apple Pie. It was a family favorite dessert, although it was a cake, not a pie and, it was "naked" because there was no frosting. Gram kept the "recipe" on a 3" X 5" index card covered with spattered ingredients from decades of use. The thing is though, that the recipe lists all the ingredients but not the quantities. And her "secret" ingredient that made the cake so darn delicious was never written down. No matter how hard we've tried, my sisters and I have never been able to come even remotely close to duplicating her cake. But, the memory of Grandma Lee's cake is still vivid in our minds, especially at Thanksgiving. And for that reason alone, I don't want to rush past Thanksgiving-- I want to linger in the memories and the joy it brings.
Thanks to Suldog, a terrific blogger and writer, for always reminding us that Thanksgiving Comes First. Check it out HERE.
Happy Thanksgiving. xo jj
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins