Of Giving Thanks

The holiday season is upon us and this is normally about the time when my reasons for “becoming” a witch stand out the most for me. It usually starts the day after Samhain then lasts until at least the second day of January, after I’ve recovered from my hangover. First it starts with the “30 Days of Gratitude” posts that choke the life out of social media streams in November, and leads on into the “31 Days of Peace & Goodwill” in December. It’s not the sentiments themselves that bother me, of course. Although I don’t actively celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas in the traditional manner, I do observe the spirit “behind” them and respect those who chose to commemorate them in a more customary fashion. What does irritate me more than a little bit is the fact that the intention of these “holidays” is not something we generally uphold all year long on a mass scale. To those who know me this is no big secret because I’ve set off on many a rant once my S.A.D. kicked in about how “we” as a society spend the better part of the year tearing each other down, only to cover it with a blanket of “tis the season to be jolly” for two months, then return to tearing each other down come the first of the year. Seemed quite the opposite of the what these holidays were all about and it ground my gears.

In my faith, I wake up every morning stating gratefulness for something, even if it’s as simple as a cup of coffee. In my practice, I take as many opportunities as possible everyday to spread cheer and good will towards mankind, even if it’s something as small as a Facebook post/message letting someone know how wonderful they are. That is the way it has to be for me, a daily ritual, because there’s more than enough moments where I show ingratitude, contempt, anger, or other negative emotions. It does me injustice to let that all pile up till the end of the year then try to balance it all out because a calendar told me to. It does the world around me a disservice as well. I don’t understand how more people don’t realize that. A lot of them do, but not far enough on my opinion.

This year, as the Christmas decor starts to go up in department stores, turkey giveaways begin to show up everywhere from car dealerships to dollar stores, and Black Thursday strategies are being mapped out, I’ve been taking stock of my feelings surrounding this time of year and have noticed a change. I’m not as annoyed by the commercialism or the end of the year hypocrisy. The gratitude posts aren’t making me roll my eyes in exasperation. The sensationalism of it all seems a bit muted and I’ve mellowed out my stance. Maybe not having a home base at the moment, something I’ve largely taken for granted until now, is the cause. Maybe it’s because I’ll be spending this time away from my oldest children and grandchildren without a clue when I’ll see them next. Perhaps it’s due to my youngest child missing out on being close to his siblings at a time I’ve tried to make sure we remained as close as possible. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because living in a truck means I’m not bombarded by advertisement upon advertisement that makes me feel “less than” because my table has never looked like a Norman Rockwell painting nor my tree like a Home Alone movie. It’s more than likely the first three things, to be honest.

At any rate, here’s to the holidays, and everything each of us have to to be grateful for. Especially changes of heart.

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