Count your blessings: And avoid the stores Thanksgiving Day

November 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community

Dixon CMYK 2016A traditionalist by nature, I am not one to treat Thanksgiving like a quick bus stop in a sleepy, one-horse town enroute to the Big City green and red lights. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas and look forward to watching my first Christmas movie with my daughter, Briana, on Black Friday – a tradition for probably 20 years. It generally starts with The Muppet Christmas Carol.

But you will not see my large footprints in any store Thanksgiving Day. I despise the retail effort to accelerate the overt Christmas commercialism at the expense of thanks and family gatherings. This year offers us a longer shopping season, so let the chaos begin Black Friday.

Missing a second piece of pecan pie while my brother regales me with tales of his fishing exploits is not going to happen if I choose to search for a $10 Insta-Pot.

Thanksgiving is a special day. It is a time to count our blessings, say thanks for the many gifts in our lives, and to spend time with family and friends. It is a time of reconciliation. Who doesn’t get a bit misty-eyed watching the Hallmark movie when the prodigal son walks in right when ol’ Boompa is carving up the bird or Sis declares she is cancer-free when the pumpkin pie is served?

Most studies show that the top times for family reconciliation are the holidays and funerals. I am not ready to declare the death of Thanksgiving so that we can rush to the hype of Christmas.

If you choose to camp out in front of a big box door that opens Thanksgiving morning to save on a new TV, have at it. Consider saying a hurried “Thanks” for the fact that you have money to buy it and a family to
enjoy it. 

This Thanksgiving season, I am grateful for so many things. Better health, a wonderful family who individually have worked hard and achieved success.

My world changed – and dramatically for the better – when Miss Lucy entered our lives Dec. 19, 2016. My granddaughter is one happy kid, in a perpetual good mood, and has a personality that is funny, engaging and witty. While sitting high on a remote hill last month, waiting for an elk that never showed, I said a prayer of thanks for Lucy. She means so much to us.

My son is situated at Seattle Pacific University as a grad student. He has an “A” so far in graduate-level statistics. My first test score in stats during grad school was a 10. Fortunately, the apple landed from the tree. We are so proud of the man he has become, and how kind he turned out to be. He also happens to be hilarious and comes alive when Lucy enters the room. She loves her Uncle Big Bird.

Our daughter, Briana, is a wonderful human being, always on the hunt to help make someone’s life better. A loving mother who has spent countless hours giving Lucy a plethora of experiences which will shape her life in a positive way. With her husband, Ethan, a paramedic/firefighter, this pediatric nurse has a precious family that gives us joy daily.  

And my wife, Lisa, who gives major pieces of her heart daily to ensure that little readers are ready for middle school and success beyond. A one-person dynamo school librarian in a traditional two-person job, she goes way beyond what is asked so that little ones appreciate and cling to the gifts that reading brings – imagination, creativity, escape, humor, and as a vehicle to succeed someday. 38 years with that big heart at my side is a genuine blessing.

I am thankful to have an incredible business partner, Lisa Santana, and a group of people I treasure seeing each day at work, and friends that overlook my many foibles.

I say thanks to you, too, who take the time to read my monthly musings.

Enjoy Thanksgiving Nov. 22 in a way that is meaningful to you.

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