Thanksgiving

I sit, on the eve of my favorite holiday, wondering what to write.

Instead of capitulating and catapulting into a lengthy life story, I’ll retire slightly earlier. I’ll give you the same opportunity. After all, the focus of a holiday should be on what brings you true joy.

Happy Thanksgiving. I wish you well, whether you celebrate or not.

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

At least eat something delicious. You deserve it.

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Last week, I wrote:
Wednesday, November 16: “Expert Parent, in the making.” We can’t all know what diapers are for.

Friday, November 18: Friday Photo. Holy mackerel.

Saturday, November 19: “A Poem on Living.” It’s a bittersweet one.

Sunday, November 20: Quote by G. K. Chesterton.

Monday, November 21: Talked about the LDS temples, and temple recommends.

Tuesday, November 22: Answered Carrot Ranch’s prompt with “Speak to Me Only With Thine Dementia.” For the record, I’m not fond of the title.

Wednesday, November 23: Today.

©2022 Chel Owens

Give Thanks

I don’t participate in popular social media events -unless I do so my way. When others share 10 Things I Hate, I share 10 Things I Love; if they tag a friend for One Photo Each Day No Description, I tag myself and post the most humorous artistic-looking picture in my feed.

November is no different. Sure, I’m grateful for stuff. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, after all. The reason I love it, however, is because it’s untainted and wholesome. It’s mine and my family’s. If I start telling everybody what I’m #blessed with, that’s bringing the public to a very private thing.

But, since November 20th, my Twofacebook feed has been different. People I hadn’t seen in ages, people who were only sharing political agendas, and people who only brag have all been giving thanks. It’s fantastic.

I have, too. For, I’ve loved the very different feeling I’m experiencing. I love the new stories about relatives shared by a cousin, the baby and grandbaby pictures from my neighbors, and all the photographs of nature and sunshine and happiness…

So, give thanks. It’s beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

…and, yes, I still share things my way -but I am participating. ūüėČ

©2020 Chel Owens

What’s Your Favorite Holiday? Why?

Since I was a younger, smaller, Chelsea, I’ve loved autumn and winter. Perhaps this is why my favorite holidays have always been the autumn and winter varieties: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

In truth, my affinity for the first and last were likely tied to what I received at each.

Still, that love has persisted into adulthood. When the air outside turns cold enough to nip, a piece inside me stirs awake. I’m a reverse-hibernation animal, stretching and standing -even jumping!- when the first snowflakes fall. I associate the drop in temperature with coloring leaves, jack o’lanterns, and the excitement of trick-or-treating.

Once October passes, my memories turn to the distinct taste of a turkey meal and a thousand side dishes. I remember pies as well: pumpkin, pecan, apple, cherry, banana cream. I love them all! As we gather up the Halloween decorations and prepare to host family, I also look forward to all the loved ones I will talk to and spend time with.

Then, of course, comes Christmas. I hate the commercialism of Christmas, beginning with the first trees the stores put up in July and ending with the children’s over-hypered aftermath late Christmas morning. The spirit and feeling of the holiday, however, are what I love the most. Every year, I try to do something to bring happiness in service -the true meaning of Christmas.

Besides its spirit, I also love seeing everyone think of everyone else. My neighbors give each other presents. Most businesses decorate their fronts. We have tradition, and love, and even more time with family.

Today, Mother Nature finally accepted that it’s October. Wind and chill forewarned of her incoming wrath, followed by a severe temperature drop and even a little snow. I stood in the flurry, barefoot and smiling, as the tiny white particles swirled around me in our porch lights.

Autumn is here. Winter is coming. I’m so excited for what they will bring!

Are you? Is your favorite holiday one of mine, or do you prefer another? What do you love best about your favorite holiday?

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Here’s what I wrote this last while:
Wednesday, October 2: Wrote “Have We a Core Personality?

Thursday, October 3: Nothing.

Friday, October 4: Distracted everyone with some funny onesies for babies.

Also, announced the winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse! Again!

Saturday, October 5: Introduced the 46th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a spell, a witch’s brew, an incantation, etc.¬†PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 6: Shared Carrot Ranch‘s Rodeo contest. Charli will be posting a new contest each week, so enter one of them!

Monday, October 7: An inspirational quote by C.S. Lewis.

Tuesday, October 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Seven.” Next week will be the final, final, final, final post for Wil.

Wednesday, October 9: Today.

I also posted all last week at my motherhood site. I wrote “How Do You Dinner?,” “No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family,” and “The Toilet Seat, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Christmas Musings

I am the fifth to admit that I overdo things. That’s better than last, mind you, though not as good as¬†third¬†might be.

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I delude myself that I am simple, efficient, and practical. I only own a Pinterest account because I had a writing job that involved saving pictures for crafting articles. I eschew the latest fashion or home-decorating trend. My children receive rules and guidelines but no sort of life-planned-out Supermom schedule. And, despite being in this Stay At Home Mom profession for over a decade, I do a terrible job at housekeeping in general.

I’ve decided I’m trying to get fired -but that’s a side topic for another post.

Back to fifth place: I’ve had a busy two weeks. In fact, we need to go back at least three months because events¬†then affected the crunch of¬†now.

Not that I voluntarily hurt my tailbone in a really really really bad way. I¬†did, however, schedule a surgery on November 6. I also neglected to remember that Thanksgiving was on the fourth Thursday and would therefore arrive not-too-long-after that surgery. Then, I forgot that we all usually attend The Festival of Trees… which precedes a holiday most of the world celebrates… and that led to a service project for the boys’ principal, an annual Christmas newsletter to be sent with cards, decorating for Christmas, a son’s birthday party (with a theme and guests), and cookie-making and distribution.

Congratulations on getting through that last paragraph. You can rest, here, with me.

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Even though I do not re-label juice boxes for birthday themes, I tend to take on a lot at one time. I also have a high standard of perfection. Maybe I think things are more exciting that way?

I mean, I not only¬†did everything in that too long; didn’t read paragraph, I also have been trying to uncover the house from the molding lump it degenerated into whilst I was recovering/ignoring it. Add shopping for presents and food, plus wrapping all the gifts for everyone, and my cup runneth over six feet below the surface of the well.

I mean… I spray-painted Costco milk boxes to look like Minecraft blocks. My Christmas newsletter was a paragraph for each of seven well-known poems, incorporating bits of¬†A Visit from St. Nicholas AND news about each family member. My cookies were all from scratch.

Maybe I really am one of those Supermoms, just one who sometimes wears pajamas in public ’cause I love my comfort.

Maybe everyone overdoes his life, and it’s not just me.

…Tell me it’s not just me?

 

This week in review, because I’m taking tomorrow and the next day off. So, there!
Wednesday, December 19: Down-Home Marital Advice.¬†What’s your take?
Thursday, December 20: The day my kids got out for Christmas Break. So… I got the days mixed up and posted The WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Molly and Gerard!
I also apologized for messing up, in The Most Sleep-Deprived Time of the Year.
Friday, December 21: Skinwalkers, XLVI.
Saturday, December 22: Christmas Cookie Limericks, terrible rhymes about my baking exploits.
Sunday, December 23: This post.

I also almost thought about planning on the possibility of catching up on my Reader’s Feed. If you see that I left a comment way back on December 12, then I finally¬†have. My apologies if you’ve felt slighted in the meantime.

The Truth About the Holidays

A friend of mine explained that her daughter hadn’t quite figured out where she wanted to be because, “Oh, you know -she’s only twenty-two. You remember what you were doing at twenty-two.”

I paused, then answered, “Well… I was giving birth to my first child.”

I’ve tended to hit life stages a bit early: walking, reading, planning world domination, marrying, birthing, buying a house, and experiencing advanced dental problems.

What does this have to do with the holidays? I’m not really that old, and yet I turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge earlier and earlier each Christmas season.

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Instead of feeling happy and festive when I saw a Christmas tree, I felt violated. Spinning inflatable yard ornaments and automated decorations that sang caused me to fear for the future of humanity. Aisles of bright tinsel or Chinese-made ornaments made me sick.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that way if I wasn’t seeing it all in July.

Now that I have, however, I reached and passed my level of tolerance and goodwill to men by October (when workers were hurriedly clearing out all that noxious Halloween stuff on Halloween to hang the Christmas things front and center).

Why do retailers do it?

To be said in my best old, jaded lady voice: It’s all about the money.

Stores make the most money at Christmas. Even if a person doesn’t strictly celebrate the holiday, he will purchase a gift for the people at his job who¬†do. Each of¬†them will purchase something for everyone¬†else. It’s like a tinseled chain letter with actual results.

And, not content with picking a man’s pocket every December the 25th, the retailers have special sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not only¬†that, but they have scooted Black Friday up so far that it’s at the same time most families are celebrating the best holiday there is.

Thanksgiving in America is pure and simple, and stores have not been able to commercialize it beyond table centerpieces and all the groceries one needs for feasting.

For companies that don’t primarily sell food, Thanksgiving’s a wash. They can’t wait to get it out of the way so that mass commercialism can stampede through sealed cardboard shelving in order to get whatever the hot electronics item is that year.

Every year I’ve hoped that The People will stop. I’ve held out for sanity. I’ve assumed that humans will finally show stores that holding a Christmas sale on Thanksgiving is too much. And yet, greed keeps winning. People¬†move the time of their feast in order to head out and spend money as soon as possible.

I guess they really don’t care, since they keep putting their money where the sales are.

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Others might think it’s none of my business what people do on Thanksgiving. It’s their day; let them spend it (literally) how they want. Well, what about the workers at the stores everyone’s frequenting? Did¬†they want to spend Thanksgiving keeping shoppers from punching a cashier?

What about standards? What about bonding with family? What about holding some things as special, or even sacred; removed from the clutching grasp of negative vices and habits?

Back to my old lady voice: People used to care. Families would dress in their Sunday best to go downtown. Neighbors would call on neighbors. No one was open past 9 p.m. and only the doctor was working on Sundays.

I’m not endorsing petticoats and carriages, or even a stop to Christmas sales. I just want a whole, untouched, unmolested Thanksgiving day. I want to enjoy my knitting by the fire while the young’uns play with their stick ball or their jacks. I want to enjoy seeing my children, and their children, and their children.

Thanksgiving needs to be removed from the seeping stain of over-buying commercialism, but that’s not going to happen unless we make it so. I don’t know who we can petition or what official measures we can take, but I do know it’s possible. At the very least, don’t shop on the day. Stay home with your family or friends. Eat. Play games. Bond.

Cyber Monday has better deals, anyway.

 

Re-cap for this week:
Wednesday, November 14: The Importance of Trying Times, a surgery announcement and PSA regarding activity after abdominal incisions; plus a weekly review.
Thursday, November 15: Skinwalkers, XLII.
Friday, November 16: Winner of The First Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Bladud Fleas.
Saturday, November 17: How-To Write Terrible Poetry and beginning of The Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (please enter).
My article, What’s the Make, Model, and Year of Your Mental Health Struggle?¬†was published at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Sunday, November 18: Patchwork, a flash fiction for Carrot Ranch inspired by a friend of mine.
Monday, November 19: Convalesced, and released Distracted Momming over at my motherhood site.
Tuesday, November 20: Inspirational Quote by Masercot. He’s a funny guy, but I felt this quote held a deep message.
Wednesday, November 21: This post. ūüôā

I do not intend to publish any additions to Wilhelmina Winters or Skinwalkers this week. I’m just too busy with Thanksgiving preparations.

Enjoy your time with family. Please.