Stop and smell the pumpkin pie

Seriously. Who decided that we should start celebrating Christmas in November….or October?! This week we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving, which, in full disclosure, is my favorite holiday of the year. An entire holiday dedicated to food, and beautifully set tables, and giving thanks…what could be better than that?! And yet everywhere I looked this weekend I was confronted not with turkeys and cornucopias and Pilgrims, but rather with twinkling lights and evergreen wreaths and flyers advertising “40% off.” Really?

This jumping-the-gun phenomenon is a symptom of our cultural predisposition to rush through life looking ahead rather than savoring each and every moment. We plan for what we’ll do when we get the promotion, or lose the weight, or finish the class. We wait until the weather improves or the construction is finished or the kids grow up. And all the while, magical moments are regularly occurring and we’re too busy to notice. It’s hard to be in the moment when you’re focused on racing to that spot just up ahead.

This Thanksgiving, give yourself a gift. Choose to be in the moment. Gather around a table with the people you hold most dear. Break bread. Give thanks. Reminisce.

And when you’ve cleared the last of the Thanksgiving dishes and put the children to bed, you can turn your attention to the next holiday with renewed energy and wild abandon.

My admonition to relish each moment applies to December as well. This year, will you remember that it’s not all about one BIG EVENT, instead recognizing that some of your best memories will come from the days and weeks leading up to your family’s gift-opening extravaganza? Baking cookies with Grandma. Wrapping gifts. Unpacking decorations. Lighting the fireplace and making hot cocoa with marshmallows. Opening cards from distant friends. The Nutcracker. The Grinch. The first snowflake.

Each little moment holds its own magic. Drink it in.

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