Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving+Birthday+Christmas

A few years ago,  I created the tradition of 1 week birthday celebrations.  The lead up to a single day of celebration just wasn't satisfying for me.  Mentally, I reflected on my own birthday at least a week before the day, and a few days after.  The children made it official.  With 5 of us at home, that's 5 weeks of birthday celebrations and 1 week of anniversary celebrations.

Thanksgiving isn't really a holiday I identify with.  It wasn't something I grew up with, and turkey was never my thing.  I appreciated it as a day off from work, similar to President's Day and Veterans Day.  Plus, who wouldn't buy into a holiday that encourages gratitude?

Fortunately for me, Jaedon was born on November 25.  So every year, right at the time that I start thinking about the 'right' way to celebrate thanksgiving, I think about Jay and our journey together so far, and a thankfullness wave whooshes over me.  My mind quickly visits so many other happy scenes and liberally soaks them with gratitude.  It's easy even to think about the day I've had and say "Wow!  I get to live my life!"  So now we've added another celebration week: 1 week for thanksgiving too!  Jaedon's bithday complicates it a bit, since there is inevitably an overlap of birthday week and thanksgiving week.

Now typically, we don't attend large family gatherings and eat very large quantities of food on Thanksgiving.  That has primarily been because my mom always works on Thanksgiving and what would a feast be without her?  I have occasionally eaten with friends and their families, but it's been good just to be home.  My daughter, however, has decided that the entire country cannot be feasting and leave her out of it.  Last year, she commandeered a feast.  We decided to invite some people over on what we call Thanksgiving Friday, because my mom is home (and will do the majority of the cooking).  We celebrated both the Thanksgiving holiday and Jaedon's birthday.

So here I am today.  It's Jay's birthday and the Thanksgiving Friday feast is scheduled.  Uncertain of who will show up, I decided to make a memory that does not depend on a crowd in attendance.  I am celebrating Thanksgiving, Jay's birthday AND launching the start of the 1 month of Christmas celebrations in the Clarke household.  Friday will be the official tree lighting ceremony, along with feasting, birthday singing, crafts, christmas carols, thanksgiving songs, and whatever else we think of.  I love this idea!

What about you?  What are your holiday celebrations like?  How are you creating celebrations for yourself so they mean something to you, not just to the original people centuries ago who thought the celebration was a good idea?

By the way, I'm really thankful for a lot.  I won't start my list here.  I have to say that I am thankful to this blog, to you wonderful readers who allow me to share my musings with you.  I was just looking at some of the articles I've written over the past year and wow!  I've written a lot.  I so appreciate the space this blog has provided for me to practice putting my thoughts into words.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, and you have my permission to celebrate for an entire 7 day period!

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