When I was a child, I couldn't wait for two different days. One was my birthday...the only day that was completely mine and a day of fun, cake, ice cream, friends, and family. The other was Christmas. To me Christmas was the day. There was no day like Christmas. Not only did it top my birthday with the number of presents, but there were always a lot more friends and family around to enjoy it with you. We were told the story of the birth of Jesus and taught the gift of giving. Dad would give us a $20 bill and with that $20 we would go out and buy presents for everyone. It was left up to us to determine who we bought for and how much of that $20 we could spend on each gift but you couldn't go over that amount. Back then, $20 was a lot! I use to buy for both my parents, sister and brother, and 2 of my cousins who were more like my brothers.
The whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, relatives you only got to see once or twice a year, and people you didn't even know but were somehow related, were there to enjoy Christmas dinner. Usually there were so many people that Mom would have to set up a makeshift table or two in addition to the dining room table and a "kids" table. It was a blast. But that was then.
It seems like people have chosen to disregard the true meaning of Christmas. Now days, they don't concentrate on the gift of giving or that it is the Lord's birthday. It has become so commercialized that it starts in July (No kidding! I found fake Christmas trees and ornaments on sale in July!) and ends sometime in January with all the decorations and sales. People get so frustrated and irritable with one another when they are shopping. Shopping for others has become a real chore, too. They gripe about having to shop for others and are rude. Last year, I nearly got knocked over at Walmart by a lady who was hell-bent on getting her Christmas list filled that she didn't even acknowledge that she ran me over...no "I'm sorry" or apology of any kind. And you can forget about family and friends enjoying dinner. It seems like now they argue and prefer smaller get togethers. There is so much fake goodwill and that is why, as an adult, my favorite holiday is THANKSGIVING.
I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It is the one holiday that everyone comes together and truly enjoys being together and sharing thanks for what they have. They don't worry about having to bring presents, or what to buy for somebody. Everybody comes together and truly enjoy each others company. We sit around and watch football, talk, tell stories, and have fun catching up with one another.
Just about every year I have Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I go all out and usually prepare a turkey and a ham (although pheasant and wild turkey have also been on the menu), all the traditional items such as dressing, potatoes and turkey gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and so much more. I spend enough to feed an army and love doing it. I don't expect anyone to bring anything except themselves and if they do bring something, it usually is something really good.
Thanksgiving is so important to me because I would rather concentrate on my family and friends rather than all the commercialism and fake goodwill. I guess I have always been concerned with family and friends but as an adult I have come to value them so much more. I know that not all of them will always be around so to treasure them while they are here is of the greatest importance. And there is not another holiday (at least in my family) when we can get everyone together at the same time.
Thanksgiving is a time when everyone can be themselves and talk. Old stories are repeated each year, some of which get bigger and more exaggerated. The children play together without fighting over new toys like they do at Christmas. Old time games like Hide 'n Seek and Tag are played. Everyone tries to forget their worries for the day and really try to enjoy the company of everyone else around them.
Without Thanksgiving, we would probably not stay in touch with those we love because everyone is so busy in their day to day lives that they can't take the time to be thankful for what they have or for those around them. I personally feel it is so important to stay in touch with those we love and it would be such a shame to lose out on the joys and triumphs of those around us or to not be there when they need us. Thanksgiving reminds us that we are a family and that we are needed and that we care. Yes, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I truly love it!