Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, more than any I can remember, the Christmas decorations hit stores early. At one of the 271 neighborhood Walgreen's, I watched sales clerks unloading battery-operated Santas and artificial trees while Halloween pumpkins and faux-wicked witches were still on the shelves. I saw my first unnaturally jolly Christmas sale commercial on TV in October.

I became strangely committed to establishing a "fall tableau" on my front step - a decorative display of miniature straw bale, pumpkins, and ornamental gourds - to set a fall harvest atmosphere. I even picked up a half-priced scarecrow in an after-Halloween sale to keep watch over the tableau and draw a seasonal line in the sand between summer heat and winter cold.  It seemed important.

The scarecrow has been named Wendy. Wendy has a perpetually sunny smile on her face and keeps toppling over. I found her face down (but still smiling) in a pile of autumn leaves the other day. I have a sneaking suspicion Wendy drinks. She's probably exhausted. Watching over the harvest must be hard work.

Why has the cultural leap from Halloween straight into Christmas vexed me so? How has my sweet little drunken scarecrow fall tableau come to occupy such an emotionally important place in my mind?

I think it's because that leap from Halloween directly into Christmas is a leap from asking for candy to getting and giving more "stuff." It's a straight line of acquisition without any pause to be thankful for what we already have. Thanksgiving is a pause that whispers "enough" between blustery shouts of "MORE."

I'm thankful today for all the many blessings in my life. I'm thankful for people who want to spend the day with me. I'm thankful for the stamina and the resources to travel. I'm thankful for safe travels, even if I miss my family. I'm  thankful for the rich character of my family. They're people who can turn even the ordinary and routine into a memory.

I'm thankful for Wendy, the sweetly smiling drunken discount scarecrow, who reminds me that I have enough.

Wendy in a sober and upright moment

1 comment:

  1. I love Wendy. She continues to continue..never losing her smile, even when she finds herself face down in the fallen leaves. I respect her.