I have finally made sense of the holiday mash-up, well, sense for myself anyway. Halloween is barely over before Thanksgiving decorations go up and Christmas decorations often share shelf space with Thanksgiving left overs before we even carve the turkey. We shop for cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and pumpkin pie while Christmas music assaults our ears way too early. You feel rushed, pressed, anxious.
Then it hit me…the world can only mold my actions and force me to embrace the next holiday if I let it. The world will hit my children and family with ideas, early sales and flashy ads, but it is the tone I set, my example that they will remember. So no preaching, no lectures, no big boycotts of stores opening on Thanksgiving. Instead, I will maintain the normal, focus on one holiday at a time, not decorate early, make sure each occasion is a special day they will remember. I will embrace small children and Halloween, then move on to Thanksgiving as a day of thanks, not as a celebration of white Europeans taking over the land. Then and only then will I focus on Christmas.
Family has the power to form a child’s mind, beliefs and values. If you shun the pressure, the black Friday and Thanksgiving day sales, your kids will notice and absorb this. They may not appreciate it now as they have their eyes on a new X Box or phone, but the example you live will be forever etched in their memory. Hopefully they will fall back on that memory when they are older and wiser. Lay a good foundation now and your kids can build on it later. They will learn from your example. I won’t let shopping break up my Thanksgiving meal or game time. I want them to value family, people and relationships more than consumerism. All I can do is show them, give them values. They will either embrace this as adults, or they won’t. I hope they do. We have all year to get things, we only have one day to come together, relax, eat, share old stories and bond with our youngest family members. Don’t screw it up.