Thanksgiving – Before and After

real-simple1As soon as Halloween is over, I look forward to Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. No shopping.  No wrapping.  No costumes.  Good mood. Good food. Great leftovers.  We eat early and eat too much, then return to eat again. There’ll be a neighborhood stroll between snacks, but there will be more eating. 

 

We’ll have delicious late-in-the-day sandwiches.  We bring in special rolls (some of us love sourdough, others prefer wheat.) There’s nothing exotic about our Thanksgiving planned-over sandwiches, but there’s no other sandwich all year that tastes this good. Frank Bruni writes about his family’s similar sandwich tradition in Real Simple Magazine.   

By dessert time, music starts. Christmas begins with Thanksgiving pie. Some years Johnny Mathis kicks off the season.  Sometimes it’s Burl Ives, or Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown soundtrack. 

 

Meanwhile, I’m already humming a chorus of “Count Your Blessings.” Some years there’s a need to start the humming earlier, a reminder to myself that no matter what else happened during the year, there are still reasons to be grateful.

 

(photo from Real Simple)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is too far away.

Last month a local radio station played Christmas music and called it “Christmas In July.”  I was right there, singing along.  Our local American Cancer Society Discovery Shop also declared it was “Christmas In July” and devoted half of the store to decorations, special china, the works. I browsed but didn’t buy.

Now that it’s August, Christmas still seems too far away.   I could use a little Christmas right now.

Every year I buy at least one new holiday CD.  Last year it was Yo Yo Ma’s “Songs Of Joy & Peace”  which features guest stars, among them  Diana Krall and James Taylor.  I’m humming those songs and seriously considering taking my holiday music collection out of storage. 

It’s been a long time since Christmas created any kind of frenzy in my life.  I don’t shop all that much even during the season, but I look forward to a round of trading meals and baked goods and conviviality with friends.  

I’ve now settled into more of an appreciation of how Christmas looks and sounds and smells and of course, how nice everyone is to everyone else.

With this  weather, it’s hard to picture lights twinkling from every window the way they do in December, but if I squint and use my imagination…

Ó Anita Garner 2009