LESLIE CRISS: Christmas lover still wants to celebrate Thanksgiving first



“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” – William Faulkner

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne

A friend announced last Monday she was beginning her “Annual Boycott of Sunny 93.3” and would not be tuning back in until later in December.

Why? Because when she turned on her radio that day she heard “Frosty the Snowman.”

Now, I’ll admit to being a lover of all things Christmas, but in my advancing years I have just about decided my favorite holiday is that underdog of a day – Thanksgiving.

It’s the day that, each year, gets shoved a little closer to extinction by the crass commercialization and rampant rushing of Christmas.

Unless we unite and say “enough,” someday we may jump from Halloween to Christmas, and have only vague memories of “that holiday we once celebrated by being grateful, watching a parade, eating turkey and dressing, hanging out with family.”

My father still regales us from time to time, my sister and me, with the story of how his family would go out on Christmas Eve and cut down a holly tree to decorate for Christmas.

The thought of waiting until the day before Christmas to decorate makes me want to take to my bed, depressed and horrified.

But, for me, the official OK for the Christmas season to commence is the arrival of Santa at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Still and yet, the parade’s over before most folks have taken the turkey from the oven or said the blessing over the Thanksgiving dinner. Can’t we just enjoy the afternoon before we haul out the holly?

Speaking of blessings, here are a few of my many:

• I am grateful my dad is still healthy and nearby.

• I am grateful to have a sister who is also my friend, a brother-in-law who can often help me with computer issues over the phone and a niece who, even at age 16, continues to love and appreciate her Aunt Lee Lee.

• I am grateful to have a best friend I can count on and three great dogs who can count on me.

• It’s a good thing to still be able to cook my mama’s cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving, even though she is no longer here to enjoy it with us.

• I’m blessed to have a job I love with a lot of good people that, most days, feel like family.

• I’m grateful for sour pickles, fall, my chiropractor, folks who still love to hold a newspaper in their hands, a town called Coffeeville, good books, good friends, good music and life.

Now, before you deck the halls or listen to “Jingle Bells,” carve that turkey and count your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Click video to hear audio