I’ve always thought of December 1st as the official start of the Christmas rush. The trouble is, the first of December follows closely on the heels of the Thanksgiving rush—you know, that frenzied week of shopping/cleaning/cooking/baking/dishes where you’re wondering, what happened to the actual Thanksgiving celebration? Caught up in the busy-ness of family and food, a lot of folks end up with little opportunity to enjoy the feast, much less give thanks.
If Thanksgiving comes early, like it did
this year, merchants are all for it—an extra week for people to do Christmas
shopping! But I see this year’s post-Thanksgiving week as a bonus for the
holiday season…there’s a little break in the action for sitting back, eating
some chocolate, fitting in an extra holiday movie, and maybe making plans for a
more generous and thoughtful celebration.
Six years ago, our first holiday season
at Berryridge Farm, an early Thanksgiving provided the same kind of holiday
bonus week. But that time couldn’t have been more different from any we’d ever
experienced. A series of unfortunate events, for which John and I were
ill-prepared, knocked us sideways. We wondered if we were going to make it
through that week…and more crucial, if we had what it takes to stay on our little
homestead for the long term. We spent the Christmas that followed being
grateful for the simplest things: our health, the roof over our heads, and each
In this year’s holiday bonus week, I’m happy
the upsets that happened over this Thanksgiving weekend were so minor…like
discovering the local, organic cream I’d splurged on for the pies was slightly “off,”
or waking up the next morning to find the bunnies had gotten into my
wintering-over kale bed and devoured nearly every last leaf. The cream got an
extra spoonful of sugar to offset the tang, and the kale gained a more
philosophical grower…when I reminded myself that our food supply is much more secure than the rabbits'.
And in this holiday breather time, I’m
doing just what the doctor (me) ordered. Eating chocolate, contemplating not
just more ways we can share with those less fortunate, but the true meaning of
the season… and being grateful.