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3 Reasons not to Jump from Jack O’lanterns to Candy Canes

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  1. It’s cliche, but the time between Halloween and Turkey Day is a great opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for. Don’t get me wrong. We should always strive to live a life of gratitude, but sometimes stress makes that challenging. We could use 23 days specifically devoted to remembering the good things in life. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m perfectly capable of giving thanks, while simultaneously singing Christmas carols in November.” This is true; it’s definitely possible. But I prefer to keep them separate because of reason #2.

 

  1. Like it or not, Christmas is a bit tainted with Capitalistic undertones. Christmas brings to mind: love, family, three wise men. But sadly, Black Friday inevitably pops up too. In American culture, it’s hard to separate the materialism from the manger. Because of this, I think it’s best to hold off on the thought of presents under the tree. Can you really focus on being grateful for what you have when you’re thinking about what you want? Some of you might be thinking: “Christmas is about giving. The gifts show someone you’re thankful for them.” or “My family doesn’t really do gifts, so I don’t think about it that much anyway.” or “In my house, Christmas is about Jesus, not the great discount I got at Target.” These are all valid points, but it doesn’t change the fact that our culture has embedded thoughts of money and gifts into our conception of Christmas time. It’s hard, even if you make a great effort to do so, to fully separate these thoughts from the holiday–and these thoughts can distract from our focus on gratitude. Our headspace should be clear like mom’s fourth glass of white wine before the turkey is even out of the oven.

3. My last point is aimed particularly at the “Christmas music on November 1st” people. Christmas music is beautiful, but part of the appeal is that, for most of the year, it’s forbidden. When we smell the cold in the air and feel the semester coming to a close, it can be tempting to jump right into the seductive pool of Jingle Bells. But I think that’s a shame, mainly because there is a song only appropriate in this 23 day period: Adam Sandler’s “Thanksgiving Song.” If you know the song, you know it’s a masterpiece that deserves to be enjoyed. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing it, I’d like to cordially invite you to give it a listen. I challenge you not to play it on repeat as you search through your drawers for your Thanksgiving fat pants–the ones 2 sizes too big with that signature elastic waistband. Yes, put those pants on, daydream about mashed potatoes, turn up Adam Sandler’s adorable voice, and take some time to think about all the things in your life that you’d miss if they were gone.

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3 Reasons not to Jump from Jack O’lanterns to Candy Canes