…Trust me, this is a Thanksgiving post…
As I sit here getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I listen to my Spotify Christmas playlist. Yes, a couple of days early. I usually don’t listen to Christmas music until the day after Turkey Day when I begin decorating the house. But I am done work writing, my NaNoWriMo project is done early, and I’m short on most of my baking and cooking needs. I must brave the grocery store battle royale this evening. That is okay. I love evenings like this where my wife and I prep cook, have a couple of holiday drinks, and jam out to music… although it won’t be to this playlist. I’ll get the joy of watching her dance around the kitchen, and I will dance around the keyboard, but it won’t be to my NaNo project. Who knows what I will be typing?
Cherish Every Moment
I love the holidays. Although, you know that by now. Family, food, and thankfulness remembering how much I am blessed. Most of you know I have Epilepsy. During my first year of being diagnosed, I didn’t know what to expect. I did not know what was going on. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was Epilepsy that I had. It hadn’t been fully diagnosed. I know that I was scared, and I was watching my family, wondering if it was the last holiday I was going to spend with them, and cherishing every moment with them as if it were. It was the most attuned to the moment I had ever been. The turkey tasted better, the pies sweeter, the hugs meant more, and that Thanksgiving was the most cherished I had ever spent.
So today, I know better. I know that I will live a nice long life. My condition is under control through medication, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take every moment seriously, especially Thanksgiving. Family means a lot to me. I know that Christmas should mean more since it is the time when everyone gets together. But there is something about Turkey Day that captures my heart. It always has and always will.
This year the house will be practically empty. My mother-in-law will be here and that is great, but other local family will be unable to make it. So, our son invited a co-worker who could not spend time with his family. We are glad to entertain and bless those who we can.
God has blessed us this year, as he always does. He has always kept us strong and close. His faithfulness is true, and we have no reason to doubt it. Through Carolyn’s success at work, my journey as a writer, Chris’ blessings with work, and Audrey’s continued dedication to get through schooling, we all have had God’s hand on our lives. If you have prayed for us, we thank you for your commitment. Your prayers have been heard and answered.
The 12 Days of Christmas
I sit here today, right now listening to the Muppets sing The 12 Days of Christmas, and I’m taken back to my childhood, remembering how I celebrated Christmas. We travel to our different family member’s houses on Christmas eve, then on Christmas day. And oh my, the stockings. I wish I had a photograph of the stocking we had growing up. Think of the size of the bag that traditional photos show of Santa carrying going into a home. Yeah. That big… I kid you not. We’d meet at my aunt’s house, where all family members would get one, and we opened our gifts in them.
Merry Christmas Darling
And now Karen Carpenter is singing Merry Christmas Darling, probably the best Christmas song ever; I may have to stop writing because this song brings me to tears whenever I hear it. This one reminds me of being a child, sitting at our home while the fire is cracking in the fireplace; our tree is lit while a train revolves around our tree. My dad had a piece of particle wood with a track on it. He and I had a Lionel train set in the garage, with a much larger and elaborate track city. We would go out there when we could and run it. I can still smell the metal burning.
I know I share all these memories, and you say, Jeff, all these memories express Christmas should be your favorite holiday. And normally, yes, I would agree with you. But all of those are just memories now. And I don’t have Christmas’ like that anymore. They are all memories. Christmas is different for me now. WAY different. I celebrate Christmas in a little more than two weeks. I guess you could say that this whole time period is my favorite. From November 21ish through Dec 31. I just love family.
So, as you start your celebrations, remember that time is precious. Hold your family closer, love them an extra inch, and don’t take any moment for granted. I know this Christmas could very well be the last Christmas I get to spend with my sister. She was recently diagnosed terminal. She has congestive heart failure. She is supposed to come out this year with my mom for her yearly visit, but they may not allow her on the plane with her condition. I am praying they will because I would enjoy spending the holiday with her.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
So, as I close this blog, I’ll Be Home for Christmas plays. Harry Connick, Jr. version. Of course, I prefer The Carpenter’s version. But that is the child who grew up in front of the fire in Pomona, CA. God bless you, friends, family, and followers. Happy Thanksgiving, and I pray you have a place to have a meal or share a memory. I would love to hear about your memories below—Thanksgiving, Christmas, or something that sparked in your mind.