Let’s face it.
It’s Christmas already.
I guess we say this every year, but I noticed it early this year. By mid-October I was seeing the decorations go up, snow falling in TV commercials, and green (or is it red) cups at Starbucks.
A few weeks ago I wished someone a Merry Christmas as I was leaving a store. They smiled, and said it back.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season. If you get in my car in June, don’t be surprised to hear “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” or “O Come O Come Emmanuel”.
In fact, sometimes I get so excited about Christmas, I excuse myself to the bathroom just to dance in the mirror.
I do that.
Maybe that’s why Christmas creeps in a little earlier every year. We’ve all been sneaking into the bathroom to do a happy dance and we just can’t hold it in anymore.
Or, maybe not.
When I walked into the hardware store today, and I noticed all the lights, and stockings, and reindeer decorations, I just had to say something to the woman at the register.
You’re ready for Christmas already!?
We sure are.
Isn’t there another holiday coming up first.
Yes, there is.
No Thanksgiving decorations?
Well, I guess it’s just hard to be thankful nowadays.
Her green eye shadow, and sequined reindeer ears didn’t help to hide the lump in her throat or the crack in her heart.
I’ll make a list for you. I’ll start small. But, I’m going to make you a list of things to be thankful for.
Ha. Can I help you find something?
Painter’s tape. Where can I find painter’s tape.
Sometimes it is hard to be thankful. When life takes a turn for the worse, and everything seems to be against us.
Holidays can’t shield us from life, but they can remind us to talk about it.
Here’s my list.
*With apologies to my late step-grandfather, Furman Bisher, who knew how to write a list.
I’m thankful for the shoe repair shops that replace my soles. They teach me that sometimes the miles I’ve walked have to be removed before I can take another step.
… for mute buttons. Sometimes I forget that I can quiet the noise without silencing the voice. I don’t have to destroy the TV to silence it; I can just press a button.
…for bananas. When you peel open a banana, there is always a banana on the inside. It always works. You never peel open a banana and find an apple. I wish people were like that.
…for fans. Anything that can take stale, hot air, move it around, and turn it into a cool breeze is good in my books. Maybe if we moved a little more, we could do the same thing.
…for shoelaces. If you tie them too tight, you'll stop the blood flow, and your feet tingle. If you tie them too loosely, you’ll trip. But, if you tie them just right, you can run for miles.
…for smoke alarms that chirp when something is wrong with them. Making noise when something is wrong isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it. I wish I was better at this.
…for artists like this, who make lyrics like this, “Don’t waste your breath on words best left unspoken, don’t waste your time on things you shouldn’t do, don’t waste your love on hearts that can’t be broken, and when you come home I’ll follow you”. People enter your life in many ways and for many reasons. Sometimes it’s a mystery, and sometimes it’s not. If we listen closely, we may hear the difference.
I’m not sure why gratitude is difficult for her nowadays.
I’ll probably never know how many tears the green eye shadow has covered, or what the reindeer ears are protecting her from.
I may never know what caused the crack in her heart and the lump in her throat.
But, I know if she’d listen closely, she may hear a whisper telling her to let go of her past, to let things be, to take the mask off, and dance. She may hear a voice telling her to not hold on too tightly, to talk to someone, or to listen closely.
There is wisdom in little things, and if we pay attention, we may realize that when everything is a reminder, we never forget.
I’m thankful for that.
And I hope you are too.
What are you thankful for? Can you make a list? What's you're favorite fruit?