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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Day 94 - Perspective

Yesterday I told the story of my first Thanksgiving, which also happened to be the first Thanksgiving after the end of World War II.

As I think back over the Thanksgiving days since then, I have to admit that none of them stand out for me. They are mostly a run of visiting the family, eating turkey and dressing, and playing games or watching television before going home.

More and more, Thanksgiving has become the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. This in itself is not the meaning of Thanksgiving nor is it the meaning of Christmas, which for many has become a purely secular holiday, still celebrated more out of tradition than belief. We celebrate by buying more and more presents of dubious value to give to people who may not want them but who expect something because, well, it’s expected.

The last few years my own family has done far less gift giving and far more being together. We include people of all shades of religious belief who come together to observe, each in his or her own way, the holiday. I’ve found that I get much more meaning from the day if I haven’t been slogging through shopping centers buying stuff in the weeks before.

Now don’t get me wrong. Lots of people enjoy shopping. It’s just that these holidays are not about shopping except to the stores who want to sell you stuff. This is their right. It is also your right not to participate if you don’t want to.

For us this year, Thanksgiving was a simple family and friends gathering, low key, nice dinner, and so forth. Christmas will be the same. We will enjoy the day, absorb the meaning as we see it, and most of all enjoy being with our families and sharing good time together.

The best memories of Christmas and Thanksgiving for me are the quiet times, when we just sit around the fireplace with a log burning and music playing in the background, grounding ourselves and getting in touch with who we are rather and being busy and doing, doing, doing.

Try using these days to reflect on your life, your accomplishments and what you plan to do in the future. Turn off the computer, turn off the radio and television and get back in touch with simpler joys.

You just might enjoy it.

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