I purchased this little tree today. Mostly to appease my little boys excitement for Christmas just a little bit. He sees the trees going up in every store, already hears the Christmas music, and sees the commercials on TV now and then that all scream, ‘CHRISTMAS IS HERE!’. And what’s wrong with this message, you might ask?
It’s actually NOT here, yet. And we are quickly forgetting a very important holiday that comes right before Christmas.
Is Thanksgiving MORE important than Christmas? No, of course not. That’s not what I’m saying, either. But I AM saying that I think it’s important to focus on each holiday as they come. Celebrating Christmas TOO early makes it about the ‘stuff’. About the lights, and the ornaments, and the baking, and the presents, and Santa, and the shopping, and everything else Christmas brings with it. It makes it about the excitement of it all, and not what it’s REALLY about. In the immediate excitement of Christmas, that somehow follows Halloween, we manage forget about Thanksgiving. There’s a whole holiday before Christmas that is actually pretty important, and that while Christmas is super exciting and amazing, maybe it IS better to WAIT. And to teach our kids to be grateful with what they HAVE before we fly into the next season of getting… and some giving too.
I called this little tree the ‘Thankful Tree’ to Cruz. I told him that a week before Thanksgiving, we would start writing down a thing a day that we are thankful for and hanging it on this tree. So that BEFORE we head into this holiday season, we can have our hearts set on things not of this world. I love that he can look forward to Christmas, every time his little four year old eyes look at this mini, sparkling, Christmas tree. But I hope that he will grow to look at every Christmas tree as an opportunity to remember to be thankful for what we already have before there are any presents under the tree, before any glitzy lights go up, and before the Christmas music is sung.
And I hope he will be thankful that his mamma chose to slow the seasons down, and take one holiday at a time. For we will blink and it will all be over. And I’d love to enjoy November for what it is. Christmas will have it’s turn.
Teaching them to be thankful AND to be patient during this season is hard. Especially when you have society telling you it’s already Christmas time. But let’s celebrate Thanksgiving first. And be thankful that we can.