Opinion: Celebrate fall holidays within their seasons

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The season of gratitude not being overshadowed by Christmas. Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez

An aroma of glazed ham, fried turkey and baked pies infuse the home with the spirit of Thanksgiving. The Macy’s Day Parade on TV is muffled in the background. My family gathers around the table craving a belly full of a Thanksgiving feast. After a six-hour prep that took twenty minutes to devour, the grandkids run around reminding the adults of simpler times of life filled with joy, the dads nap on the couch and the moms strategize their Black Friday shopping the next morning. This is Thanksgiving. And nowhere is Christmas involved.

No Christmas lights strung or wreaths on the doors that proclaim “Joy to the World.” No Christmas music dazzling in the air. There is only a celebration of Thanksgiving.

According to Martha Stewart, the queen of cooking, she “would prefer to enjoy (her) Thanksgiving turkey before a bite of gingerbread and a glass of eggnog.”

For those itching to celebrate Christmas, don’t worry. The Friday after Thanksgiving is an immediate celebration, or hunger, for Christmas. Credit cards are swiped. People’s cold toes stand in line for hours waiting for the remarkable sales. This is how the Christmas celebration begins.

The Christmas celebration concludes the night of Dec. 25 with a still beautifully lit Christmas tree. Wrapping paper is scattered and crumbled while family once again gathers around the table playing the new game Santa brought them.

It is simple and perfect. Decorating and celebrating early, before Thanksgiving, interferes with these invaluable moments.

According to Shutterfly, a popular website for personalized Christmas gifts, “No matter which Christmas decoration ideas you have, the ideal time to decorate for Christmas is the weekend of Thanksgiving.”

In my family, all of us kids are grown up and no longer living at home, but we come back for Thanksgiving weekend. Memories are tightly knitted with decorating the Christmas tree. My mom fills the home with nativities, and dad decorates the front yard with Christmas inflatables. As kids, it was a family event, and yes, it consisted of hot chocolate with marshmallows twisting and turning in mugs as the sugar melted away.

To miss out on this family event would be missing out on the beginning of Christmas and the end of Thanksgiving. If these events were to take place any earlier than the weekend of Thanksgiving, it would no longer be a family event.

According to Kristen Dalton, an American actress, “Be aware of what season you are in and give yourself the grace to be there.”

The season of Thanksgiving is focused on gratitude, just as the season of Christmas is focused on joy.

Stay in your lane, Christmas. We will celebrate you soon.