Friday, November 28, 2014

FFF#42 Post Turkey Day thoughts (AKA Black Friday).

First and foremost...........I am not a black Friday kind of girl.  Sure, I like a bargain.  However, we do not spend inordinate amounts of money on Christmas.  We just can't and I'm really glad that we can't.  I do not want to participate in the commercialism of the season.  I want to remember that I celebrate the Christmas season to rejoice in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  I want to remember to be thankful, to love other people and to recognize the blessings we have and express that gratitude through our service to others.

Black Friday with all of the it's early morning shopping and standing in line and the brawls at the checkout line scream to me some of the problems in our society.  We are so hip on getting a bargain, that in our greed and desire for self-satisfaction we trample other people, bring little children with us when they should be in bed, and get rid of any Christian virtues we may have been trying to work on the rest of the year.  Ya'......NO THANK YOU!  I will stay home and enjoy my family and pay for the things I really want to purchase as gifts for my loved ones.

But this post wasn't about black Friday.  It just happens to fall on that day.
I have been struggling this year because I'm sad that I don't get to spend the holidays the way I did as a kid.  When I was younger, we would all gather at my Aunt Janelle's house.  All of the families, cousins, aunt, and uncles, grandparents, would bring parts of the Thanksgiving feast.  Then we would gather the day of, hang out with one another while the odds and ends were put together and then we would eat this amazing feast and visit some more.  I loved going to Janelle's house because it was the one time during the year when I saw people who I didn't usually see.  They loved me.  I knew they loved me.  They asked me about my life and my interests.  I loved mingling with them and hearing about their lives and their children.  It seemed the one time when I felt like people really cared and they weren't so caught up in their own lives.  (Child's perspective, remember).

I finally acknowledged recently that I really miss those times and seeing all of those people.  Thanksgiving, to me, means the gathering of family, and for me the emphasis is for the children.

When I finally let myself feel sad for all of those years of unmet Thanksgiving desires, I realized also, that the Thanksgiving times I remembered, no longer exist, with those people.  I love them.  I miss them.  Most of them are still living.  But most of them are also the grandparents and great-grandparents.  Their children are gathering with their families and inviting those grandparents.  And me with my parents?  Well, my parents are divorced and both remarried.  The children are all struggling with their relationships with the parents and with each other to some degree.  And the bigger and most significant part, is that none of those people (my parents, siblings, and their children) are interested in discussing the spiritual aspects of the holidays.

When I was a child, when we gathered, we came together with people who were like minded in their desires to be living the gospel.  I went from a home where I was cared for, but not necessarily taught the gospel to a place where more people were more nurturing and interacting with the children.  If I tried to be doing the same things, my children today would be going from a home where the gospel is taught, sought after, and discussed, to a home where people don't want to talk about it and their behavior reflects that.  It would not be a nurturing environment for my crew.  That is alright.  We don't always have to gain something by participating.  But in our case, we wouldn't be able to give anything either because those people are not interested in changing their lives or learning how to live after the manner of happiness.  So to try to continue those things would actually be harming to my children.  The holidays would be filled with contention instead of love and peace, which they have now, with only our family.

So, do you want to hear my amazing Thanksgiving story that shows Heavenly Father loves me??

As these things were coming to my consciousness, I decided that it was super important to me to have a beautiful table for Thanksgiving day.  I read some other blogs and saw the cool things they were doing for their tables and thought about what I would like to do for ours.  I recognized that I didn't have the money they did to do the things they did.  But I found some very cool placemats at Target for $3.00!!  (Giant turkeys you could color with a wordsearch.)  I told Drew that I was going to go and get material for a table cloth.   But I would check Walmart first to see if they had anything that would be cheaper than material at JoAnn's with a 40% off coupon.  As I was digging in the cupboard to find the coupon, I came across some amazing material with scarecrows all over it!  (People give me material and I don't always remember what they have given me.)  I took the material and laid it across the table.  There was plenty to cover the table with a little extra.  It was wide enough to cover the table top, but not enough to go over the edges.  Then I found another piece of material that would work as the edges and there was just the perfect amount for that.  I threw both materials into the washing machine.
kind of like these

The next day I ironed them and fixed my serger (just oiled it really).  Then I made the table cloth and eight napkins!  It was so cool!!  I felt so happy and so very loved.  Really, silly, I know!  But I didn't have to spend any money!!  I had it all at home.  I just had to do a little bit of work!  Then Sun and I made place cards for our Thanksgiving feast and she set the table with our beautiful green IKEA dishes and I found a vase in the cupboard that matched for the center piece.  It was so cool!  Sorry no photos!  Someday, we'll figure that out also :-)
not this fancy
Anyway, I just wanted to share my story and let you know that I love the holidays and that Heavenly Father loves me too and cares about silly things that are important to us!  He loves you too!!

On the brighter side of things, we have been potty training for one week and one day now and things are going amazing!!!  Spike Spike has figured it out.  We have had a few hurdles, but nothing horrible or unmanageable.  Yea!!!

Have a great weekend!!

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