Just about an hour ago I was driving to the store to pick up a spice grinder (we decided to start grinding our own spices). Anyways, As I was perusing through the bustling store I was observing people. Many were rushed, undoubtedly picking up last minute Thanksgiving items. Some looked stressed, their lists long with errands and items. My mind wandered to this season and the many expectations we all have. What does your season look like this year?
Are you working on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both?
Are you alone in a new city and not sure where you will spend the holidays?
Are you traveling far to see loved ones you haven’t seen in a while?
Are you newly single or in a new relationship?
Are you experiencing broken relationships?
Has there been a death in the family?
Is there a new addition?
Is this the first holidays without kids, or a spouse who is deployed?
See, the holidays bring up some heavy stuff. We all long to be with the people we love on the holidays, enjoying a warm meal and cheering to the past and future. I don’t personally know a soul who wants to be alone on the holidays. Yet sometimes that is where life brings us.
Holidays bring up unrealistic expectations. I think we have all watched our mothers break down cooking for Thanksgiving or Christmas, worn down with chores and duties and unable to even enjoy the day. We watch cousins fight, kids eat too much sugar and go wild, and hear the back and forth of couples who love to knit pick at one another.
Isn’t this real life though? I watched The Family Stone the other day and just laughed at how true that movie is. We are family and friends because we love each other through thick and thin. We belong to one another. Life is not perfect, and neither will any holiday be!
Let’s make the best of what we are blessed to have this year, whatever it may be.
Let’s love each other this year and have grace with one another. We are all hard pressed and tired at times.
Let’s help our moms and those cooking meals. Offer to do some dishes. They are tired.
Let’s remember that those silly fights are not the end of the world. Laugh and let go.
We don’t get to choose our family and friends. It is OK if they drive us crazy.
Whatever your family or friends look like this year, wherever you will be spending the holidays, remember that there is no “normal”. Life is always changing, and people come and go. Let’s be grateful for what we have in this moment, and savor the season. It will not always be this way, and even if it looks grim, we may look back on it one day and find sweetness in it.
See, I believe in family and friends, meals together at a table, celebration, loving acceptance of one another, and joy. This is the model God has given us. He has adopted us as his children into a big family we do not get to choose. We must love one another and find a way to deal with each other. He asks us to celebrate with those we love, share fellowship together through meals and drink, and hope in all circumstances, giving thanks always.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and may your day be filled with love, laughter, and hope wherever you may be!