Thanksgiving: the forgotten holiday

Outside the newsroom on Main Street in Columbiana, the street lamps stand already adorned in Christmas garland complete with white lights and red velvet bows.

This premature holiday cheer impedes upon me through the window near my desk, clashing with the miniature pumpkin that sits at my workstation and the leftover Halloween candy I’m still eating.

As I’m making plans for Thanksgiving dinner, it seems many are already preparing for Christmas, which is still seven weeks away.

I understand the excitement. Christmas is a great holiday. But don’t forget about the joys of Thanksgiving, which often get overlooked in the excitement of Christmas preparations.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. What’s not to love? It’s a day full of family, good food and lying around the house watching football.

It’s the one day of the year we can eat dinner in the middle of the afternoon and spend the rest of the day napping on the couch.

It has all the best aspects of Christmas — delicious food and quality time with family and friends — and none of the stressors, such as long shopping lists with a deadline, stretched tight budgets and holiday traffic jams. To me, Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm.

I cherish every minute I spend in the kitchen with my mom preparing our family’s favorite dishes and eating a spoonful of canned cranberry sauce, which we put on the table every year even though no one really likes it.

I look forward to our family walk we take around the neighborhood between the main course and dessert and, of course, tearing the wish bone with my sister even though, most of the time, I let her win.

These are the things I am truly thankful for and I wouldn’t overlook them for the world. So, at my house, Christmas stays packed away until the day after Thanksgiving.

This way I can enjoy every moment of the present without muddling it up by hastily looking forward to the future. When Christmas finally does arrive, I’ll treasure it the same way.

Katie Hurst is a staff writer at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext.14 or by e-mail at katie.hurst@shelbycountyreporter.com.