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A Thanksgiving Card, huh?

(Yes, we're weird.) But why send a card at Thanksgiving? I love this holiday, and I'm trying to simplify Christmas.

First let's talk about why I love Thanksgiving. Making time to stop and give thanks is a big deal. I keep teaching and re-teaching my kids to show gratitude. They've heard this line a dozen times: "Will you be grateful or greedy?" Can we be happy with what is, without always wanting more?

I talked about having a gratitude attitude over here and about our yearly Thanksgiving tradition over here. Each person thinks of things we're thankful for, and then we write them on paper leaves. I saved last year's poster, and this year we had to think of completely new leaves. Some of my favorites on this year's list: pumpkin bread, 2 hour church, a working desktop computer, choir, etc.

I talked about fall in Texas over here but I have to add one more funny story. See the turkey hat Amber's wearing in the photo? Yesterday it was pretty windy outside, and of course she wore it to the grocery store after preschool. And of course it took off like a kite. Here's the awesome part: three complete strangers in the Winco parking lot each stopped to help me chase down the very aerodynamic turkey hat.  I wish I had a video clip because it was hilarious. The wind whipped it back and forth, and after ten seconds of chasing, success! We were happy to get the hat back, but even more delighted at the kindness of strangers. People here are so nice. Yes my daughter is cute, and yes it's fun to see a bright-eyed bubbly girl at the grocery store. But I love that they willingly took a minute to help. It made me smile ten times yesterday, just thinking about it. The next leaf I need to add to our tree: random acts of kindness.

During November we thought about all the people we love, both near and far. We spent time stamping and sticking and licking envelopes. We wanted to say hi. And we wanted to set some pretty low holiday expectations. In some neighborhoods in previous years, at Christmas all the neighbors would give each other a plate of cookies or a simple gift. I can't do that. I just do a card.

I love Christmas, except for when I don't love Christmas. I love remembering the baby Jesus, and I love how people try to be more like Him by being thoughtful or generous. I love the music and the lights. But I don't love the frenetic pace, the pressure to buy more stuff, go more places, attend more events. Already looking ahead at the December calendar, I'm cringing because one week is overbooked. My new rule: if I see a sign-up genius for anything, I won't even open it. We have to leave some space in the margins, to just live and let the peace of the season have a chance to settle in.

So for now, Happy Thanksgiving!

Love this Josh Groban song:
Some days we forget to look around us
Some days we can't see the joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for

Look beyond ourselves, there's so much sorrow
It's way too late to say,? I'll cry tomorrow?
Each of us must find our truth
We're so long overdue


Even with our differences
There is a place we're all connected
Each of us can find each others love


Also, Susan Boyle has a beautiful song that fits this Thanksgiving theme.
Perfect Day
Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on
You're going to reap just what you sow


  1. I loved getting my Thanksgiving card in the mail. Great idea! Ditto to all your thoughts about an overbooked holiday season. I'll always opt for the slower path. It's not so fun and lively, but it's where I feel the most peace -- even if it makes me a lame neighbor.

    1. Aah, thanks Candi. You've always been one of my favorite neighbors for two very good reasons: peace and simplicity. Your "slower path" option is very carefully and wisely chosen.


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