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From her column Around the Corner

around-the-corner-11-13Current TV commercials can be heard throughout the day hawking the idea that “the Holiday Season is now beginning, and excitement is in the air.” Don’t want to dampen the excitement or stay in “push back” mode, but seriously folks, holiday season is not just now beginning. It always begins on December 31 of the previous year, and remains in perpetual mode. Likely it will stay this way forever (unless our digital devices crash). We Golden-Agers, for the most part, are not digital device wizards, but we do love to celebrate. Not a bad thing.

Actually, it’s a lifestyle. Think of the emotional letdown we would suffer, if we had to interrupt monthly celebrations of the holiday season! Of course, we still feel sadness on the anniversary of a loved one who has preceded us, but not to worry, Celebration Czar has granted an exemption for these special days—no negotiations allowed!

You might say, “A genuine perpetual holiday season would omit no month.” Okay, how’s this? Let’s add a holiday for the month of August, and name it “Pre-Autumn Day.” That will help us stick to our politically correct policy of “no month left behind.” Then August will not feel overlooked. It’s easy. Just pretend it's a school report card. As one insightful child wrote, “No one act little; no one act big; every one act medium.” How cool is that? But wait, do we have to run this by government regulators? Nah... No filibuster needed.

We are reminded, however, that Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner. It’s a good thing. We are thankful all day, every day—don’t need a special day to remind us to remember. We have much for which to be thankful, although reasons for being grateful may change. My late husband often prayed, “Thank you, Father, for waking us up today.” Am sure he now is thanking the Father for not waking him up. Likely he is enjoying endless, unanticipated joy.

While I’m in no hurry to join the heavenly crowd, it is helpful to count blessings frequently. M. Beattie wrote, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Another wrote, “Blessed are those who give without remembering, and take without forgetting.” Many do not enjoy the privileges and blessings we enjoy in America. In other world areas, some are persecuted and/or killed for their faith; others are forced to leave their homelands and flee for their lives.

But I will try to make my list of items for which I am thankful:

  1. First, I am thankful for the God who allows us to call Him “Father,” who knows our names, and accepts us unconditionally into His family just for the asking.
  2. Next, I am grateful for my three children and their families, along with my extended family, who love the same God I love. They care for me and politely listen to my numerous accounts of previous events, although I have shared the same stories dozens of times.
  3. Then, friends are high on my list of blessings. The list is too long to enumerate, and as one little child said, “I name the stars for my friends, but I have run out of stars.”
  4. I am grateful for Christmas, but glad dieting is neither a required course nor bridge to the Christmas celebration. Personally, I don’t know anyone with the courage to diet on Thanksgiving Day, although I am told many do consider this a day to “begin” dieting. Not credible. Seriously doubt the day would have been named “Thanks-giving Day” if the purpose had been to diet. Don’t really see the Thanksgiving Day diet ritual ever becoming a universal “happening.”
  5. To be perfectly clear, I am especially thankful for Christmas, the celebration of the day God sent His Son to begin the journey to Calvary. I don’t have sufficient words to describe what Christmas means to me. St. Paul even seemed to be at a loss for words to describe or thank God for sending His Son, so he simply wrote, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15). And to that we say, “Amen!”

Happy Holidays!

Justine Knight was raised in a parsonage and married to a Nazarene minister for more than 50 years.

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