So, what does Thanksgiving mean to me? Hmmmm....
I find it interesting that the meaning of the day has changed for me over the years. It used to merely mean a couple luscious days off school, a little shopping (nothing 3 a.m. crazy) with my mom, tons and tons of mashed potatoes (my favorite) and chilling to play games with my beloved Grandmother and family.
Now, the day is generally spent with me getting up early in the morning because I was too lazy to make my portion of the meal, which is usually some new dessert I've been dying to try out. I live 5 hours away from my parents...sadly, I've since lost my Grandmother and don't make the trek home for the holiday meal like I used to. Instead, we go to my in laws for dinner with them and my husband's brother's family. It is cozy. I don't have to make a turkey, which I cherish. [someday I'll have to tell you about the year I made a turkey on the grill because my stove blew up...best turkey I've ever eaten.] The day is spent chatting around the table, playing games, looking at circulars, and trying to relax.
While I no longer get to go Black Friday shopping, that suits me fine. I hate crowds of people and hate the commercialism that Christmas tends to bring. It seems that this nation has forgotten to cherish the holiday that causes deep reflection. This is evidenced by the Christmas ads that you now see even before Halloween. It is sad and breaks my heart.
In my home, I have a strick rule that is enforced. NO CHRISTMAS MUSIC UNTIL THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING! Yes, I am very strict about this, because I never want my daughter to forget to be thankful. It is already sad enough that we blow through most of the year without remembering to cherish the simplicity of our lives, the little blessings and the big ones, and just the dog-gone time with family and/or friends.
My goal at some point is to go for and early Thanksgiving lunch with family and then go as a family to serve meals at the local shelter. For me, I believe that would complete my day more than any parade could.