I decided that this holiday needed more importance than a meal. Life is certainly much easier for us now than it was all those years ago when the Pilgrims sat down with the Indians and celebrated a successful year. Maybe because of this ease and modern conveniences we have now we forget how truly difficult it can be for others or even for ourselves. I am guilty as the next person of forgetting hard times once through them when life is good. There is nothing wrong with this I believe we shouldn't dwell on the negatives in life. However, I do think it is of utmost importance to be thankful and give thanks for what we do have.
I wanted my family to slow down enough to understand beyond the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the desserts and the football games and understand and appreciate what being thankful is and how much we do have to be thankful for.
In that spirit I decided when I was decorating the house for Thanksgiving that I would bring out the Christmas tree early. We drape fall foliage on our tree, hang wooden gourds, pumpkins, and acorns that we collect outside. We place leaf garlands and scarecrows on the tree and drape raffia on as a final touch.
When we decorate the tree I notice several things happen around our home from that point on. One major thing that happens is we talk about thanksgiving. Mission accomplished! Everyone starts really getting into the Thanksgiving spirit and we focus on the holiday at hand. We don't skip over it as the "meal" holiday but slow down and give Thanksgiving and all it means it's true dedicated focus.