This is the time of year when it seems as if the train of life suddenly becomes the Acela. Just a few weeks past July 4th, the stores start filling their aisles with Halloween goods. Before one knows it, there will be inflatable witches on brooms, Draculas posed to pounce on any warm blooded creature that comes near, and round orange pumpkin coaches with happy ghosts hanging out the windows, all atop the stores shelves.
The worse of all this is the candy - bags and bags of mini bars - Snickers, Milky Ways, Three Musketeers, to name a few. I find these calling from the shelves - 'Buy me, you know you want me, we’re small consider us low calorie.'
Then even before the remaining pumpkins, witches, and vampires are deflated and hidden away, the orange and black morphs into red and green. Now it is the beginning of the 7 weeks of Christmas. Boxes of colorful balls, bells, and lights fill the aisles. From atop, on the shelves there will be Santas, reindeer, elves, and inflated snow globes. Even the candy aisles turn red and green. After Thanksgiving the air will be filled Christmas music.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, just where in all this madness is Thanksgiving - my personal favorite holiday. Once again this celebration of family and thanks gets lost in the melee of goblins and elves. How can this be? How can the grand American tradition of a festive meal, much like Normal Rockwell depicted be overlooked? Is the remembrance of that first Thanksgiving where the settlers and the Native Americans shared a feast just a pause between All Hallow’s Eve and Yuletide. Are inflated Turkeys, plastic cornucopias, and dancing pilgrims not fancy enough to grace the shelves?
Hopefully this year, after the worldwide pandemic of the past 15 months, we will all stop and give thanks for the family we have and remember those we have lost. How can anyone not look forward to that obnoxious uncle with his corny jokes or the cousin who embraces goth? Who doesn’t miss the burnt turkey, Aunt Sara’s god awful cauliflower and parsnip casserole, or the unavoidable argument over whether plain corn bread dressing or oyster dressing is preferred.
This November I look forward to the family get-together, complete with the arguing children, the store bought pumpkin pie, and Aunt Mary and Uncle Al’s late arrival. So let us gather to together to ask the Lord’s blessing . . . to hasten and chasten . . . the wicked oppressing to cease from distressing.