I found myself trying to decided on whether or not to put up my Christmas decorations early this year. I am usually completing this task the weekend after Thanksgiving. I am not at all happy that Black Friday shopping will begin on the day set aside for Thanksgiving, the friday after was soon enough. I did feel a little guilty for not leaving my fall pumpkins and cornucopia out for this coming Thursday, but realized being thankful is not a decoration..it is an act in itself.
Another defining reason for decorating early, is that I have family coming! My brother hasn’t been able to be here during the holidays for quite a while, and I wanted to have everything decorated for them. I am starting to get anxious and filled with anticipation.
Family gatherings bring many things. We are busier than usual, we fuss over menus, who is eating where and what time. We try to fit it all in, but end up being frustrated and lacking the holiday spirit of togetherness that we should have. We all want the Norman Rockwell gatherings. Why? I don’t know, because we should know by now that it just doesn’t happen outside of those paintings. We surely miss the point.
The great thing about having my brother and his family here? It really doesn’t matter what we eat, what time, or what we do. We live so far away from one another, we are just happy to be in the same room together. I feel blessed and realize that this is the heart of the holidays for me. So I am anticipating…I can’t wait to see them.
I also am realizing how deep the anticipation ran for my own Momma. It didn’t matter if we arrived at 2 a.m.? She would be up waiting. Anticipating. She knew what was important. I was a little misty eyed this morning thinking of how much she must have missed us. I overheard a lady in the grocery store complaining that she always had to eat dinner at her parents. She wished she could just stay home and then go shopping at 8pm? I wanted to pull her to the side and just give her some “friendly” advice. I thought it was the saddest thing I had heard all week. One day she may figure it out, but for that moment, I whispered a tearful prayer for her in the canned food aisle.
It is going to be crowded and noisy here, my house is small. As a matter of fact, it’s going to be a little chaotic at times, but it doesn’t lessen my anticipation. It only makes me love my family more for giving up their comfortable beds to share Thanksgiving with us.
The Christmas tree will be twinkling this year.. only a week early, a pot of hot chocolate will be on the stove. We are anticipating some much-needed family time. The train around my tree will be wide open, along with Hannah and her cousins, and the lull of Christmas music playing. Yeah, it’s going to get a little noisy, but I am bursting with anticipation.
My prayer for my friends and family this year? That you are Anticipating…embracing the people who you love, and planting some seeds of kindness towards the ones you struggle with. I pray that you don’t take anyone for granted, make an effort to get along….bend. Be gracious to those that cook for you faithfully every year, appreciate the love that goes into your Thanksgiving feast. You may ask God to show you someone who would be blessed by an invitation, or providing a Thanksgiving meal. I guarantee you won’t regret your efforts.
Happy Thanksgiving! May it be blessed beyond measure and full of heart-felt thankfulness and anticipation.