In my family, Halloween has always been a big deal. I grew up with a mom who helped us imagine our ideal costume and, aided our efforts to create the illusion of being something else for one day. We would spend days planning and making costumes by hand with random materials. The time we enjoyed together to brainstorm and craft is what I think of when I remember my childhood Halloweens. I have already started these traditions within my family and, my daughter is excitedly planning next years costumes. I know many people don't celebrate or, enjoy Halloween for various reasons including religion so, skipping it in favor of the next holiday is understandable. Why then does it seem like the next holiday is Christmas? When we went trick-or-treating there was already a house in our neighborhood that was fully lit with Christmas lights! It's as though people view Thanksgiving as a stepping stone to Christmas. One more hurdle to jump before we bring in the fat man, eggnog and presents.
Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and being with each other without the sparkly distractions of fancy decorations, presents and make believe. It's a time for us as a nation to give thanks for what we have, reflect on who we were and to appreciate what we have become. The fact that Thanksgiving doesn't come wrapped in presents with caroling and bright lights might make some people feel as though it is less important. However, I think it is one of the most important holidays BECAUSE it doesn't come with all of the distractions.
On a scientific note, Thanksgiving can also be great for your health. There have been numerous studies showing that practicing gratefulness can improve one's happiness, overall health and well-being. According to a Wall Street Journal article, practicing gratitude can change your perspective on life and reduce your tendency towards negativity thereby warding off depression and improving your resilience when dealing with stressful or difficult times. There are even apps for practicing gratitude and reflecting on the good parts of each day.
I do want to make it clear that I am not condemning those who just can't wait to put up their tree. I'm only making a suggestion in regards to how we should live in the moment and take things as they come. You need not suffer the months of October and November without decorations. At my home, we enjoy making fall and Halloween decorations. They can be just as beautiful and fun to use as Christmas baubles. For the month of October you can fill your home with all manner of spooky and beautiful decor. When November rolls around use brightly colored fall leaves, glittery pumpkins and sparkly lights instead of garland, snow globes and tinsel. Pinterest is full of great ideas!
So, let's keep Thanksgiving alive and let it have its day. Christmas will still come, your lights will be just as sparkly and bright the day after Thanksgiving. Your tree with look just as beautiful and the presents will still arrive via sleigh. In fact, it will seem even more magical because it will only last a short time. Christmas will have its day. Let's enjoy the opportunity to just be with one another. At the end of the day your children will remember the fun times spent together more than the flashy parts of any holiday. So let's savor every moment we can have in the present including that nearly forgotten holiday called Thanksgiving.