Keeping the holiday spirit

Thereís something about Thanksgiving that has always brought me a sense of happiness. Itís definitely not the 20-pound turkey, or the fact that I have to cook for 12 hours straight, feed 18 people and then clean the house for the next month to try and get it back in order before Christmas. No, itís definitely not that. Itís something about the way people feel and act that makes me wish the holidays could last all year.

Of course when youíre a child, the holidays are the best part of the year Ė you get presents. But as an adult, the holidays become a lot more work. Thereís the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, the guests, more cleaning, and when it is over, youíre usually broke and your house is trashed, but despite all of that, everyone seems happy and cheerful and greets everyone with a smile.



Over the last few years, for me the holidays have become more about the way people act than anything else. I love to see my family get together and to hear everyone talking at the same time, sharing a million stories, and laughing because everyone knows to an outsider we would appear absolutely insane. (I think all families think that, or at least I hope so.)

I love that I get to see the excitement in the faces of my nieces and nephews when they think about Christmas and Santa Claus and the treats he might bring, and I love the fact that no matter who is mad at who, or what little family tiff may be going on, all the hurt feelings and angry words are gone for the day, and everyone just has a good time, and itís not just in my family.

Every year around this time, people seem to get into that holiday spirit. They decorate their houses and start shopping and, for the most part, they find that jolly mood that goes along with the holiday season and start treating people the way they should. (Except during the Christmas shopping frenzy when everyone beats the crap out of one another to try to get that last flat screen television or iPod.)

But with the exception of the shopping craze that occasionally leaves people with broken limbs, Thanksgiving marks the time of year when people realize everything in their lives that they are thankful for.

Iíve never understood why it has to be the holiday season before people start appreciating the good things in their lives and realizing what they have to be thankful for, but since the times of Ebenezer Scrooge, it seems some people just need an extra push to do the right thing. So, in honor of the holidays, Iím going to think about everything in my life that I am grateful for, and for once, Iím going to try to keep that in mind all year long, or at least until New Yearís, when the credit card bills start rolling in.

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