Blog 2229 – 11.25.2021
“My Favorite Holiday”
Favorite is a term I seldom use anymore, but usually modify it to “one of my favorites.” I am or try to be an equal opportunity lover of all things bright and beautiful, but like everyone, I suppose I am cursed or blessed with my own tastes so some things, people, places, and even days, especially holidays appeal to me more than others.
For as long as I can remember, this go round anyway, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday, even more than my birthday or Christmas. Since the merchants asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt to change the federal holiday called Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the third Thursdays (to add a few days to the official Christmas shopping season) which was a few years before I was born, my birthday, the 22nd of November actually has fallen on the third Thursday of November a handful of times. It is great when my birthday dinner is Thanksgiving dinner. It is as if the feast and those parades are all for me – they are actually even when my B-day does not come on the 3rd Thursday.
Christmas Day was the biggest, brightest, and best day of the year to my mom and she always did her best to make it so for her two surviving boys. I wonder if a part of her almost constant sadness throughout most of the year except for the Christmas season was because her thoughts were of her first two twin boys who died just hours after they were born to their young scared single mom. Her “secret” was a hard burden for her to bear in late nineteen forties America. It, of course, was never really a secret to anyone who knew her then, she being as the King James Bible says of Mary, Jesus’ mom, that she was “great with child.” I bought my mom a leather bound Living Bible New Testament with her name, Alene Davidson White, in gold leaf (she never cared for her middle name, Florence) and she loved reading it but Ken Taylor’s transliteration of that description of Mary as “big in the belly” did not appeal to mom, though I suppose that is exactly the meaning the King James translators were trying to convey.
I think the reason I always loved Thanksgiving best was that it, at least while I was growing up, was the official beginning of in Andy Williams words, “the most wonderful season of all.” You do not have to be a Christian to enjoy the Christmas season. In fact many Christians and others too do not enjoy it at all for missing so many people they once shared the holidays with and can no longer. I promise you that those who are thought of as “the dearly departed” “or “the loved and lost” would not want to be thought of as the ghosts of Christmas Past, but rather have us focus on Christmas Present.
As a boy on Thanksgiving Day you could always find me glued to the TV, I was most of my waking hours at home anyway, but especially on Thanksgiving morning to watch several hours of Christmas parades. My boyhood hero Captain Kangaroo was grand marshal of Macy’s famous parade in Manhattan for many years. At the end of the parade was always a float with Santa and his sleight pulled by you know who (clue: thanks to cowboy singer Gene Autry’s hit song about a red-nosed reindeer most kids memorize his name and the names of the other eight by heart) and the Christmas season was officially begun.
We, all of us, have much to be thankful for each and every day. Today as I intone the words aloud to myself and to the Universe of my daily mantra I will enunciate specifically these words:
“I am so glad and grateful that everything that I could ever want or need is already mine and coming to me at just the right time and in just the right way from my loving and infinite source.”
As I began this, I intended to share some especially memorable Thanksgiving Days that I recall from the seventy one I have been blessed with this time around. This morning before I began this blog I wrote these words in a love letter to my one true wife, Linda Lee Stokes: “I am most thankful for you today.” More than any other person, with the possible exception of myself she has always been there for me and has stuck with me through thick and thin. When I count my blessings she is always first and last on that list and her name is sprinkled all throughout that rather long list.
“Count your blessings, one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” And for you atheists, the term Lord can also be used for your higher power, your higher best self. We all know who really hung the moon, and you did a pretty fine job of it and that generous sprinkling of stars was a nice touch too. Thank you very much.
Happy holidays to all, no matter which is your personal favorite.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Not just the wordy guy, but the encouraging word guy.
Thank You For Being A Friend