Just a Few Thoughts...HalloThanksChristmas?

 


Ok. Just recently I read about this new ‘term’ - if that’s what you want to call it - HalloThanksChristmas, and then I actually heard someone use it, and I have to say – I DON’T LIKE IT ONE LITTLE BIT!

First of all, the modern celebration of Halloween, which started out as a religious celebration of All Hallows Eve, preceding All Saints Day on Nov. 1 a few centuries ago by the Scottish, bears no resemblance to that kind of holiday, and hasn’t for as long as I have been alive, and certainly prior to that. I recall my father telling me about tipping over outhouses in southern Alabama on Halloween night – not exactly what I would call a religious experience, unless there was someone actually in the outhouse.

Halloween is nothing more than an excuse for kids to get dressed up in silly costumes, collect candy, and keep dentists in business for the next year; and for adults who like to partake of adult beverages at Halloween parties, also dress up in costumes, and generally use it as an excuse to overindulge and complain of headaches and upset stomachs the next day.


In my humble opinion, Halloween has no connection with Thanksgiving or Christmas, and should not be grouped with those holidays.

As we sit down with family and friends, or even spend the day alone, Thanksgiving is and has always been about giving thanks for what we have been blessed with. However, because the day is not about exchanging gifts, or partying and acting silly, it has become the most overlooked holiday on the calendar.

When you go into a store the only items that can be found relating to Thanksgiving are, for the most part, foil roasting pans. Grocery stores used to make a big deal about lowering the cost of turkeys so most people could afford to buy one, as well as all of the other food accompaniments. And while not everyone enjoys turkey as much as I do, it’s still nice to be able to fix a special meal without needing to take a loan at the bank to finance it.

I heard on a local radio station the other day that one lucky woman had won $400 toward the cost of her Thanksgiving meal. $400? Unless she is feeding a really large crowd, I don’t know of anyone who will pay that much for a meal, unless it’s being catered by a full staff of servers. $400?

Even though Thanksgiving seems to be fading more and more into obscurity every year, it is also becoming more commercialized every year, just because of the cost of the food, and promotions like the one I mentioned earlier.

And talk about commercialization. No holiday exemplifies that more than Christmas, with Easter coming in a close second. I guess the Easter Bunny needs as much help as he can get to raise money for those golf games he has with Santa Claus after Christmas in New Zealand. If you’ve ever watched the modern day version of Miracle on 34th Street, you will know what I am referring to.


Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of the Christ child, not about who can spend the most money on gifts that people either don’t want or need.

This Friday people are going to get up early and push and shove each other, and maybe even get into arguments over items that are probably not very good quality, which is why they are specials in the first place.

They will not remember that the day before they were sitting down to a wonderful meal, thanking the Lord for the people they were surrounded by, and all of the blessings they had received throughout the year.

It would be safe to say that both Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays steeped in religion, although they are not exclusive to any particular sect, but they are Christian holidays. The Pilgrims were giving thanks for making their journey safely from England to the New World in order to have the freedom to worship God in their own way, and for the friends they had made in the local Native Americans. And, by the way, there was no turkey at the first Thanksgiving. The meal consisted mainly of locally grown produce – especially maize –, venison, and a lot of fish.

Christmas, of course, is about the journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem because they were required to take part in a census in the town of Joseph’s birth; and when they arrived Mary was ready to give birth, which she did, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Nobody was running around to buy gifts for the Christ child. Instead, those who knew of the birth were very thoughtful, and quiet – something we don’t experience much of during the holiday season. Everything is Rush..Rush..Rush, and noisy!

Why can’t we, as Christians, go back to celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving the way they were intended? So, for the record, it is not HallowThanksChristmas. It is Halloween, and then three to four weeks later it is Happy Thanksgiving, and a month after that we say Merry Christmas!

As someone once said to me, we need to return to the old days, when we spent time together giving thanks for family and friends and what we do have; and what better time to do that than at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I hope everyone who reads this eats lots of turkey on Thanksgiving, and is blessed to be with family and friends to share the day. If you know of someone who will be alone on Thanksgiving or has fallen on hard times due to no fault of their own, please make sure you let them know they are not forgotten. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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