I have a terrible confession to make. I hate Thanksgiving. All you do is sit around and overeat and watch football ... and I'm not a football fan. To add insult to injury, you often have to withstand the perils and pitfalls of traveling on some of the busiest days of the year, fighting traffic and airport lines and surly crowds.
And then you're supposed to go shopping? I don't think so!
Maybe it goes back to my childhood. Thanksgiving was a too-short holiday just before you had to start studying for exams or write the papers you'd been putting off for weeks. And then it's cold. And there are no decorations. No presents. And if your family is getting together, there's no doubt someone will have too much to drink and embarrass everyone.
I remember one Thanksgiving when my two uncles got into a fistfight. But that's a story for another post (and that's what we call a tease).
But thankfully, other people have a much better outlook. For example, Kathy Gottberg of SmartLiving365 says, "I doubt it is a surprise ... that one of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving." So this week she offers 10 Favorite Gratitude Quotes and Why They Matter. My favorite is the quote from Oprah Winfrey, but you may decide another one is even more telling in these tenuous times.
Still, before you conclude that I'm an old curmudgeon, let me tell you ... I love Christmas!
As I sit here at my desk, I'm noticing my neighbors across the street have put up Christmas lights that sparkle all along the bushes in front of their house, and a brightly lit Santa Claus stands happily on the front porch. I'll be putting out my Christmas lights in a few days -- nothing fancy, just a string of lights outlining the garage, but a cheery antidote to the dark December nights.
Anyway, if you're having a tough time getting through the holidays, or for any other reason, you might want to check out Carol Cassara at A Healing Spirit. She says that when tough times hit, it's only natural to try to find a way out of them. But what if the way out is actually found by going within? So take a deep breath and spirit your way over to Find the Way In.
Meryl Baer has a good attitude about it all -- or at least a sense of humor. She spent Thanksgiving with family in Florida. The trip involved a flight to Florida and a return trip five days later. She points out that air travel is not necessarily pleasant these days (understatement!), but as an optimist Baer tries to see the positives in The Upside of Air Travel, while also being grounded in reality as she revisits the flight home in The Downside of Air Travel.
If you do decide to brave the stores -- or the internet -- for some timely Christmas shopping, Rita Robison on the Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide offers a list of the Top 10 Stores for Cyber Monday Shopping. When cyber shopping, she advises, be sure to compare prices, find out about return policies and use only secure websites.
Meanwhile, Laura Lee Carter was curious about Black Friday. Check out her post Where Did the Term "Black Friday" Come From if you want the true story of this (somewhat) special day.
Of course, if you're in sunny, balmy Los Angeles, you might have a whole different approach to the holidays. Rebecca Olkowski with BabyBoomster.com has put together a list of Best Los Angeles Holiday Events, just in case you're in the area anytime between now and New Year's Eve. Even though there isn't any snow, she says, there is plenty of fun to be had.
And finally, in the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to leave you with a laugh. So we turn to Jennifer of Unfold and Begin who is a big proponent of laughter. She feels that it keeps you young, and recently learned that it's helpful and has a positive effect on you during times of adversity. Find out more at Learn to Laugh at Trouble.
Which reminds me . . . what kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth rock. Okay, okay, if the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for? Their AGE. Happy holidays!