Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

I don't understand it. How is it possible that it's the end of NOVEMBER already??? Last time I looked, it was the 4th of July and we were concentrating on swimming, hot dogs and fireworks. (I vaguely remember a three-day sugar buzz that could have been Halloween) 

Life is still marching on at an alarming rate. Children grow, loved ones pass and the face in the mirror keeps looking older. (don't get me started on THAT one) Thanksgiving has traditionally been the huge family affair day - complete with turkey, Aunt Edna's stuffing and fighting with relatives. Thanksgiving afternoon we rested, gearing up for Black Friday shopping. 

Hope you didn't really need that nap, because the shopping now starts on Thursday afternoon - and continues the ENTIRE night. If you don't have a full car by 6am Friday morning you've missed it - better luck next year.  I'm starting to feel...annoyed at the entire process.  I'm not a Black Friday star performer, by any means. I've gone out a few times, feeling like an idiot for leaving my warm bed at 4am to score the best deals. Now that seems like a luxury - actually getting to sleep until 4am!

So this year, in protest, I refused to be seduced by huge corporations offering me $50 savings if I am one of the first five customers - and am willing to stand in line all night. I refuse to rush through my family time to go shopping for more things we don't really need.  Instead, we'll put up the Christmas tree, bake cookies and play family games. We'll cuddle on the couch and read (especially if I unhook the PlayStation!) and talk about what we're thankful for this year.  

For me, I'm most thankful that my children are still young enough to need me - even though I love their growing independence. But it reminds me that soon they'll be completely grown - and I'll be standing there wondering what happened, wondering if I spent enough time playing with them - or if I was always busy trying to get through the busy-work of the day.  

This Thanksgiving is theirs - and I vow to not worry about laundry, shopping or anything else on my massive to-do list. 

Instead, I'm giving thanks. 

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Cyndi Paxton Johnson

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