It really is a lot of fun. Purchasing just the right gift, turning bland spaces into fantasies of light and music, sharing laughter and work in kitchens while cookies and breads send the best of all smells throughout the house. Yes, we need this time.
But before this all begins, even though TV and stores have, as usual, taken off before the signal is given, let's stop.
For one day.
Don't even walk up to the starting line yet.
Put aside the catalogues; let the ornaments gather attic dust for one more day.
Say "thank you."
Make a list. Not a shopping list. Not a wish list. Not a "letter to Santa" list. Not even a to-do list. Make a different kind of list.
A list of every single thing you can think of to be thankful for.
Little things. Big things.
Life. Breath. Skin. Hair. Fingernails. Farmers. Ranchers. Food processing plants. Flour already ground from wheat. Manufacturers who create precision tools. Electricity. Heat. Stoves. Natural gas. Engineers. Artists. Looms that create beautiful fabrics. Sweatshops that sew our clothes. Oceans. Tides. Fish. Eels. Stingrays. Stars. Comets. Space. Newspapers. Radios. Low energy light bulbs. Candles. Cars. Mechanics. Roads. Bridges. Governments. Police. Fire fighters. Social Service agencies. Volunteers. Flush toilets. Toilet paper. Children. Parents. Pregnancies. Diapers. Landfills. Trash collectors. Pets. Dust mites. Fleas. Mosquitos. Purple Martins. Bats. Robins. Earthworms. Friends. Hugs. Tears. Laughter. Fights. Sports. Teachers. Muscles. Fat. Romance. Heartbreak. Chairs. Warm blankets. Fuzzy socks. Washing machines. Fine china. Paper plates. Disposable napkins. Colors, especially the color green. Especially the color blue. Especially the color yellow. All colors. Hot tea. Freshly laid eggs. The smell of good dirt after a spring rain. Thermometers. Thermostats. Hospitals. Doctors. Nurses. Cleaners. Memories. Babies. Learning. Good hair products. Flat irons. Clotheslines. Computers. Text messages. The elderly. Nursing homes. Wheelchairs. Personal stationary. The US Postal Service. Airplanes. TIVO. Rebellious children. Good books. Bad books. Story time. Snow. Cold. Windows. Gloves and scarves. Space heaters. Friends. Enemies. Keyboards. Music. Oh yes, music. Organs. Guitars. Drums. Voices. Harmony. Symphony. Jazz. Piano. Nursery rhymes. Mouse: both alive and computer. Cockroaches. Concrete. Trees. Hammers. Nails. Lumber. Carpenters. People who know how to repair things. Disappointment. Challenge. Messy desks. Reams of fresh paper. Packages of pens and pencils. Crayons. Paint. Canvas. Wheels. Pulleys. Levers. Grass. Prairies. Forests. Snakes. Scorpions. Warm hands. Honest sweat. Skin creams. Itch remedies. Hay fever pills. Painkillers. Science. High-tech laboratories. Our Veterans. Ancestors. Letters. Books. Lampshades. Fresh tomatoes. Baked potatoes. Hot rolls. Creme Brulee. Chocolate. Hugs. Love. God.It goes on and on and on. Someone can begin the list and keep sending it around the room or table until it is pages and pages long. I've only begun to list the things for which I am grateful. What about left-handed scissors and sharp knives? Indoor plants and freshly composted manure? Friends who tell me the truth and grandchildren who say, "I love you, Granny!" Soft beds and warm comforters? I've only just begun.
Say, "Thank You," to God. Give thanks for being held together with the rest of the universe by that divine power that we can't even begin to penetrate with our limited understanding. Give thanks that you can enter into the seasonal craziness in whatever way is right for you. Give thanks for redemption. The season of the Savior is upon us.
Say, "Thank You."
Then . . . Ready, Set, Go!!!!!