Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Different look at the Holiday Season

I only have the US for reference, but it is real that marketers are crowding one holiday on top of the other.  With Halloween ending (and there was already some items in the back corners of Target) the changeover to Christmas has begun full force today in all stores. If you are not of the Christian faith, I suppose "the holidays" do not mean the same thing but there is still no avoiding the  marketing push created by Christmas.  This post is not to rant against the commercialism of Christmas and declare corporate America evil, but to try and take a look at the holiday season through the lens in which individual holidays were intended. I want to get the wonder, awe, warm feelings, and appreciation each holiday can inspire. Here is an early look at November. 

November 2nd, first Sunday of November annually is All Saints Day in the Christian faith.  Churches often have special readings, bell ringing, and  memorial opportunities for members to  remember loved ones that passed away in the last year, and those they hold in their hearts.  This day has becoming more poignant with me over the last two decades as so much loss has been part of my life.  Tomorrow, we will be thinking of my sister, who passed away one year ago tomorrow, unexpectedly of an aneurysm.  She was still young, full of life, with young grand kids and another on the way  but had been dealing with her own sadness since losing her husband less than two years before to cancer.  My family will be celebrating her life tomorrow,  the day before what would have been her 57th birthday.

Veterans Day,  is November 11, and for those of us who live in a free society, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the current state of government, this should be a day of importance. This summer marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day in France.  The poppy tribute at The Tower of London is stunning, and we know the veterans support groups will be handing out poppies in the days leading to November 11th.  I will wear one proudly, honoring those men and women, some who were and are little more than children, that give and gave their lives to protect and serve.

World Kindness Day is November 13th, and a celebration I had never heard of before, but learned about from my daughter. World Kindness Day   The day encourages people to make a declaration of being kinder to others, small simple gestures that go far.  Seems fitting to follow the earlier  two holidays I mentioned. 

November 1st kicks of the recent, 30 Days of Thankfulness posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.  While I have much more than 30 things to be thankful for, I haven't done this activity, but like reading the thoughts of others. I find myself nodding my head in agreement, and laughing along with the less traditional ones like my friends post from November 15th of last year.  "I am thankful for rubber spatulas because it meant I could get one more peanut butter sandwich made from scraping the jar, saving a 6:00 a.m. store run". 

There are holidays, commemorations, and traditions around the world, that I know very little of, but am sure they hold special meaning.  I'd love to learn more so do share as you are willing as we get to those dates and events.  I'm particularly curious about what guy Fawkes Day means today, and how  it is experienced.  The Season opener of Sherlock had me intrigued!
In honor of Veterans Day, a well loved picture of my 18 year old sailor dad and his buddy.

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