Saturday, November 19, 2011

" Just Not Feeling It. "

The following photos of artwork and windows were all taken at my church home, Faith Lutheran Church.

 I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about Christmas lately and it is not by choice. Quite frankly I am sick of it already. It's been shoved down my throat since before Halloween and I have just had enough.

Am I the only one who remembers a day when Holidays came one at a time? I want to know what happened to Thanksgiving Day. Since I was a very young girl, Thanksgiving Day was one of my favorite holidays. We used to hang pictures of turkeys and pilgrims in our front room windows.

Many of the stores carried all sorts of related table wear for Thanksgiving Day. I still have my grandmothers little Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers along with a turkey set and a turkey candle.

Going to grandma's little apartment for Thanksgiving Day was always "The" big day in our family. Her kitchen wasn't very big and she didn't have a dining room. We, cousins, aunts and uncles would joyfully SQUEEZE in together around my grandmothers kitchen table decorated so beautifully for the holiday.


Grandma would cook the entire dinner for all of us, always wearing her apron. And all the while smiling and humming while cooking. She was always so happy to do this even though it would be so hot in there!! Grandma always had a relish tray, a tradition that my mother and then myself, would carry on.

All of the stores would be closed on that day. If you happened to forget cranberries or needed extra gravy, you had to call a relative that hadn't yet arrived, hoping that they may have some or you would just do without!

I'm sure that my cousins and I may have shared some dreams of what we had wished to receive for Christmas, but if we did, I don't remember. All I remember was enjoying our turkey, ham and all of the Thanksgiving Day fixings. My favorite was always the hot turkey with gravy sandwiches that we would all fix ourselves later in the evening. How we made room for more food is still a mystery to me!

How Thankful we all would feel to be together sharing the delicious meal grandma had prepared just for us!

And somehow Thanksgiving Day stayed with us for days afterward. We didn't think of putting up Christmas decorations until after the first of December and even then we wondered if we were doing it a bit too soon.

Today of coarse, the decorations in the stores start coming out in October. I've actually seen some before Halloween. Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous? My neighbors were outside taking there Halloween decorations down the week after Halloween and putting up Christmas lights!

I am ashamed of our society today. It seems as though everything has to be bigger, faster, better and sooner. I sometimes find myself feeling guilty because I can't buy my loved ones a big screen television, I pad, Kindle, I phone or even a shiny brand new car.

That is when I find myself getting angry. Is this what Christmas is all about? Lights, glitter, and spending tons of cash?

I do know better of coarse. The Advent season is my favorite season in the church year. I can't even put into words the warmth that I feel in my heart after going to Advent services. I won't even try. If you don't know that feeling, I really can't explain it to you.

It wasn't that long ago that I enjoyed Christmas music, decorating my home and tree. Right now I'm just not feeling it. I suppose it could be a bit of grief from my mother passing in December 2009. The last day that we saw her was that Thanksgiving Day.

But I really think that a great deal of my disappointment is directed at retailers and advertisers.

They don't give us time. They don't give us the time that we need to slip into the holiday. They don't give us time for the spirit of the season to envelop us like a beloved, warm blanket.

They don't even let us feel the spirit anymore. All that matters is the end of quarter sales. And that my friends is the bottom line.

My favorite window that sits high above the alter.

I am angry. I am angry because the fun part of Christmas has been robbed from me. I am angry that Thanksgiving is all but swept under the rug anymore. 

I am not decorating my house for Christmas yet. I may not decorate at all this year. It all depends on when and if I feel the spirit envelop me. I am hoping that it will. But I'll be darned if I am going to let the corporate mongers dictate when and if it happens.

I've had enough.


We are having a small Thanksgiving dinner this year. Just myself, my husband, daughter and her best friend. And that is fine. I intend on not only enjoying the food that we are blessed to have but I am going to enjoy the day itself. With the people that I love. No expectations, no gifts. Just sharing our love for each other and of coarse some sweet memories of my mom.

To all of my Blogger friends that celebrate this holiday,
may you have a
Blessed Thanksgiving Day.


Anvilcloud said...

I guess all we can do is to cocoon and try to enjoy it all on our own terms and in our own way.

Ginnie said...

Hi Di: I thought of you yesterday when I heard that there is to be a re-opening of the Natalie Wood drowning drama. That always did have a bad smell to it as far as I could see.
Hope your Holidays get easier.

Allie said...

Memories of Grandma's kitchen is always the best .. hold tight to them, ignore the retail world.

Barb said...

HI Di, I came by to wish you, Jake, and Katie a very Happy Thanksgiving! We're getting the 3 oldest Grands tomorrow and will take them to Breck with us until Wed. (We're having T-giving at their house in Evergreen.) It's snowing in the mountains - we're in the city a few days. I thought of you with all the hoopla about Natalie Wood! PS The stained glass in your church is beautiful.

Jackie said...

Di...You spoke it so eloquently....powerfully!!
Your words: "They don't give us time. They don't give us the time that we need to slip into the holiday. They don't give us time for the spirit of the season to envelop us like a beloved, warm blanket."
I feel exactly the same way!
Well put...well written.
I hug you real good.
I love you, my friend.

Diana said...

A Note To My Friends,
I was surprised that a couple of you remembered that I love Natalie Wood. Although she is all over my sidebar, I know that some don't look at that.
I am aware that they have reopened the case of her "accidental" death and am glad that they have.
While I don't really know what happened that night, it never did seem right to me.
It would be nice to know the real story even if it is as they originally suspected.
Thanks for thinking of me. And Natalie!! Love Di ♥

Sharon said...

You have a very lovely church, wonderful stained glass windows!

I haven't messed with a tree or anything for a couple years now. I see all the holiday that I can stand on the television. It's all about the money, everybody wants ours.

Yah, I remember Thanksgiving when I was a kid and when my children were kids, we always did the big dinner and as the Grandma, I cooked it all, cleaned up the mess and did all the dishes, so 5 years ago, I put an end to that. W/O volunteers, I couldn't make dinner for 12 people or more. Now DH and I will go out to eat, if the weather is agreeable.

I think I am probably the biggest HumBug of them all, but I wasn't always.

I do wonder what they could figure out about Natalie's death now?

Rob-bear said...

We Canadians do Thanksgiving in early October, which is when the farming season is usually finished up here.
But, more and more, I find these special events in our annual calendars are getting to be so "way too much."
We had a pretty simple Thanksgiving this year, our first in our new apartment. We're going to have a very simple Christmas, too.
I like simple holidays, when we can focus on the people in our lives, and the Giver of the Gifts.

Sandi said...

Hi Di, I'm with you. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, because it's about being thankful and grateful for what we have, not concentrated on what we have not.

I also get irritated by the Christmas decorations and hoopla that isn't related to what the meaning of Christmas is at all.

I'm a little guilty of wanting to decorate though, But I always wait til after Thanksgiving!

Love, Sandi

Rebecca said...

Your memories are beautiful, Di. Thanks for sharing them. I also really like your blog background. It is classy, lady!

I don't let the advertisers and merchants take ANYthing away from me. I treasure the seasons as they come and even blur a bit. The Christmas decorations that delight me are not dictated by fashion, commercials or other people. They bring light and cheer into days already dark at 6:00 p.m. and still dark into my morning hours.

I will be recycling decorations from years past -- I stay out of stores as much as possible. However, carols or cheerful Christmas songs played as I walk the grocery aisles are welcome. If intended to seduce me to buy, they don't. :)

I hope the wonderful Thanksgiving memories you have of your grandmother and mother warm your heart and the hearts of your family members as you gather for "the meal" this year.

You are very special to me, Diana. I'm really thankful that our paths crossed via blogging.

Wanda..... said...

The holiday season does come early in the stores, but at least we can control what we reflect in our homes. Our traditions are what's important...enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, Di, with your family and memories of your mom...that's exactly what I will be doing too! Love to you!

Lois Evensen said...

I'm with you, I like my holidays one at a time. I must admit I have to plan ahead when making gifts, though. ;)

Tamara said...

I share your sentiments! Where, oh where has the wonder of the holiday gone?

Hugz to you, Lady Di!

Gail said...

HI DI - Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I look forward to it every year and this year is no exception. I think, for me anyways, I am SO grateful I can still walk and shop and cook (w/Skipp's help), but still, I can do it!! I still so love the smells of Thanksgiving morning while the Macy's day parade marches on as a back drop[. I guess what I am trying to say is look for those parts of the holidays that are still the same that are tradition and family love - k I know you have so much of that everywhere. "Happy Thanksgiving"
Love to you

Tranquility Speaks said...

In total agreement with you Diana! Even here in India, it's so much about gifting and buying yourself bigger and better stuff. How hollow it all feels when you've no one to share it with. The people around you make it special. Not the material things. I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving :)

Lynilu said...

I'm so with you on that! Christmas is a beautiful holiday, but it has been commercialized to a distressing level. Consequently, I'm rebelling, and have been for several years. Like you I may or may not decorate; I do so every 3-4 years if I'm having guests for dinner or such.

Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday because it is a non-gifting event! I love having a day set aside for thankfulness, remembrances, and togetherness. Period. What a lovely thing!

Isn't it interesting that the mood of Thanksgiving is what SHOULD be repeated for Christmas? Jes' sayin'.

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful with your family, Diana dear. Hugs and love. :)

Rae said...

Call me old fashioned, but I miss the old days when the holidays were simpler. Each year I get more disheartened with the mad Christmas rush that begins in October. These are the memories our grandkids will have in the future and it is sad.

Cindy said...

Diana, sorry you are feeling a bit blue, I don't blame you at all. I love your Thanksgiving, it always seems to be such a special Holiday. ours is in October. I too am not in the Christmas spirit yet and feel like you that it is way too commercialized. how are you getting on now with your knees. Wishing you the best holiday Thanksgiving with your family. I know you will be thinking of your Mom, sending a big hug your way dear friend.

Donna's Book Nook said...

I love Thanksgiving as well, and I agree with your comments. Don't let the store and retailers steal your joy! Enjoy Thanksgiving, savor it, and then move on at your pace into the Advent season. God bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Yes, Yes, and YES a thousand time YES I am so annoyed again this year! It gets worse and worse every year and every year I vow to NOT put up with it and put the light and decorations that I have so LOVED in the past. I too have been dreading the holidays. I a just thankful that I will have 2 of my children and their families at my table this year. IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME and very hectic! I just heard today that my granddaughter best friend may not live...she was shot at the NC random horrible horrific shooting in Pleasant Garden. What a blessing she was not with her friends that morning....I am so thankful and sooooo sad for her best friens family this Thanksgiving....

The Bookworm said...

Thanks for sharing the photos Di.
I hear ya, they really rush Christmas because of the money factor. And that is not what Christmas is about. It's a shame, Thanksgiving gets skipped over.

And how sad is it that some stores are opening at 9pm on Thanksgiving night for people to do Chrismtas shopping?? It's so annoying.
I take my holidays one at a time and it's not all about material things.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, many blessings to you and your family :)

Teresa said...

Hi Di,
I think we should all slip into the holiday season like a warm blanket! I enjoyed your words, and it is so true..."they just don't give us time, we seem to end up running 'helter skelter' through the malls, looking for the perfect gift for our loved ones, and we never really find it because it is actually under that warm blanket, next to a fire, sitting with friends and family enjoying a hot cup of cider, hot chocolate, a glass of wine, a warm delicious dinner, it is hugs, and giggles, and inside jokes. It is popcorn decorations, and all the wonderful smells of the season, like Turkey, and pine cones, and gingerbread, baked pies, and the best smell of all is the smell of a new doll, or a new baby! We should all forget the mall this year and learn how to knit some mittens, and maybe teach the little ones how to do it.

Maria said...

Hi Diana!
I hope you, Jake, Katie and her guest had a lovely day yesterday. Sometimes it's the simplest of things that bring joy. For the first time in a long time, my father went on a walk OUTSIDE with us! He is always so reluctant because of his failing balance issues that he stays behind. But arm in arm, he came with us and we walked the whole neighborhood. It was a mild and sunny day... and one of the best things about this whole weekend. I hope you had the same joy with your "new knees" this holiday!
I agree with too much ~ too early! I'm all about the simplest of decorations these days. Nothing brightens my day like a vintage tablecloth with those bright colors and well placed candy canes!
God bless you dear ♥

Unknown said...

Di! Yes I heard it on the news, although it won't make a bit of difference after 30 years about Natalie Woods death. I actually kept the original newspaper clipping when she died and cried and cried. My mother told me if I have brown eyes I could be Natalie Wood and I loved her ever since lol. I have always been her fan! I always thought her death was MURDER! ok I said it....MURDER! and her husband marries Jill St. John right after! give me a break!

A Lady's Life said...

Yes Christmas has been side tracked into money making events just to get people who do not believe in Christ to shop.
It is wrong to celebrate for the wrong reasons.Today, the way things are, every day is Christmas. I tell my kids, our parents never bought us anything and for Christmas we got the clothes we needed for the year. That was it. Today they need clothes shoes, etc...every day especially for school and sports.
So why do they need more gifts for Christmas? You try to support jobs but you need a job to support other people.The best way is to buy from local manufacturers, Mom and Pop stores and stay away from foreign goods.

Joy said...

Whoa! Stop! Girl, you're making me hungry and I still don't know what I'm making for supper... I sooo agree with you on all points, Diana. I started and nearly finished my Christmas shopping in September, thinking I'd have it out of the way and be able to enjoy the season come December 1. Guess what? Everytime I turn around, there is someone else to buy for. Arrrrgh! I am tired of the spending--even though it's modest spending. Yep, bottom line is profit. I'm tired of it too. You said it all for me, Girl. (Congrats on the Bionic Knees.) ;)

Joy said...

P.S. I also had this thought about Christmas: Is this how Jesus intended it to be? All the stress, hurrying around, spending money everytime we turn around... We each need to make Christmas what we want it to be, not what the retailers dictate! Amen? Amen!