Nov 232013
 

Good morning everyone and happy Saturday once again! And, I hope all my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving. How will you be celebrating? What do you look forward to the most? Will you be doing Black Friday? We’re going to Ron’s sister’s house again this year; they go the formal and traditional route, complete with people dressing up and the guys watching a bunch of football. Very picturesque area, too. And as for Black Friday, I’ll only be doing that sort of thing online. Kohl’s has theirs starting on Thanksgiving Day, but the online deals start the Tuesday before. And of course, I’ll be on Amazon stalking their “Lightning Deals”. The way I see it, if I’m going to be in a mosh pit, Slayer had better be on stage. At least then I walk away in a good mood, smelling like a combination of blood, sweat and beer instead of pepper spray and cheap perfume. But mostly, I just really dislike being cold, so standing in line for several hours is not my idea of fun.

And apparently, the Black Friday/mosh pit combo isn’t just my own observation:


I hope this made you laugh and shake your head as much as it did me.
“Ain’t gonna live my life this way!” at 1:04 – LOL! Classic!

But seriously, the crass commercialism is a bit much. Many people are choosing to even bypass the online shopping for shopping local and/or purchasing items online from small businesses and one-man operations via Etsy. With us, we do Giftmas and Yule, so I do a little of both kinds of shopping. PS4 and games are for Giftmas. Going out to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and hand crafting gifts are for Yule. Both are presents, but they’re on a completely different level when it comes to the giving. We only go to the theater maybe once a year because it’s so expensive anymore, so it’s something really special to me. So all year long, I look forward to the traditional date night of going to the movies. And for Ron, he already knows what I’m giving him: I’m making him a Grumpy Cat painting. Maybe something like this:


I feel ya, Tard. I feel ya.

Starting later today is when I start putting up my Yuletide decorations. I know that sounds nuts, but it comes from when I used to host Thanksgiving. I have always had full time jobs, and to put out a feast for a couple dozen people, by myself, required lots of catering-style prep work on top of making the home feel festive – just so I could enjoy the meal and everyone’s company. So yes, it’s our tradition around here. I have a bunch of showings scheduled for today too, and I need to stop by JoAnn’s to pick up stretched canvas for Ron’s painting afterward, so yes, it just makes sense. That, and I put in so much effort toward my decorating, so I want to enjoy it as long as I can.

Decorating for Yule puts me in a good mood, too, even when I’m fighting with the lights. When I was a kid, even if Santa “missed our house”, just having the place decorated from the trunk full of items amassed over the years made me happy. One year, I worked the kids room at a Pagan convention, and it was held over Thanksgiving weekend. I had a small, dedicated conference room, and I showed up with an artificial tree and lots of craft supplies. By the end of the convention, the kids had fully decorated the tree and room with ornaments and other things they made themselves, and the room smelled like cinnamon. It was a lot of hard work, since I had the room available every day from 10am – 6pm with an hour break for lunch, just by my lonesome, and it is still one of the best memories of my life. I hope the kids enjoyed their time as well.

That’s what the holidays are all about to me – doing for others, making them happy, and in turn it makes me happy. When you give something, be it food, presents or your time, do it not out of obligation but because you want to. If writing a thousand cards puts you in a foul mood, don’t do it. If baking a couple gross of cookies does nothing but tires you out, don’t do it. If writing a check to a charity has you second-guessing where the money’s going, find another charity. Find something that has meaning to you. I can name a thousand charities and a thousand more gift ideas, but if they all feel like chores, then there’s really no point. Maybe what you need is simply someone’s company. There are a lot of groups who do just that in a bunch of ways, too. Maybe offer a place at your Thanksgiving table to a lonely Soldier or even hosting a Misfit Thanksgiving for everyone you know who has nowhere to go. (I used to love making take-home plates.) Perhaps visiting a nursing home is more your thing. Dropping off a tray of your family secret recipe at the soup kitchen is a good idea. Visiting a no-kill shelter and playing with the kitties is always nice. Maybe even just making a phone call to someone you lost touch with is just the trick to put you in the holiday mood. That’s the secret to the spirit of giving.

Well folks, I have a busy weekend ahead of me, so I do need to wrap things up. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, however you celebrate, and a fantastic kickoff to the holiday season. Many blessings to you and yours. Take care!

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