(There will be more installments of my adventures to come, but for now, my heart simply couldn’t hold the joy of the season inside any longer!)
When I think of Thanksgiving, I also think of Christmas, because the two holidays are so completely intertwined. Not in the materialistic or commercial way some people think, but because of the dear meanings they hold to me.
Dealing with a bit of jet lag and waking up at 2 am, I couldn’t get my mind to shut off. Having recently returned from England, I was already full of happiness after seeing my family again after a month. Though I laid there trying to sleep, I found myself humming a Christmas song and feeling like a child full of excitement.
Nope, there would be no sleeping for me. I threw back the covers, pulled out the Christmas decorations, put on the music (quietly so as not to disturb my upstairs landlady) and began to put them up feeling a bit giddy.
With each unwrapping, I couldn’t stop smiling. Every ornament and decoration held beautiful memories of family and friendships and love. I hadn’t opened this particular box for several years and I had forgotten. I put on one of my favorite Christmas CD’s and the familiar music brought tears to my eyes. I felt joy bubble up inside of me and could only describe it as pure gratitude and love.
Gratitude for nature in all of its glories. Gratitude for my own small home and the peace I feel every time I open the door and step inside. Gratitude for each and every miracle of love I have received over my lifetime from my family and friends near and far. And most of all, gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I celebrate with joy and wonder this season.
How could Thanksgiving not be interwoven with Christmas? A grateful heart finds joy in giving and a giving heart finds joy in selflessly serving with love. For the recipient, the act of love warms their lives with gratitude. The circle is complete. So for those who wish to put up their Christmas decorations alongside their Thanksgiving decorations, you are really just celebrating the joy that comes from the Season of Light, Love, Gratitude and Giving. What could be more wonderful than that?