Christmas in Oklahoma

We are now in the beginning of Thanksgiving Week, Christmas decorations have been in the stores since before Halloween.

The commercialization of this holiday has increased, I have watched this creep earlier each year. I had some neighbors go from Halloween yard decorations to Christmas over night.

I used to leave my lights up Year Round, but when the needed replacement I haven’t climbed a ladder to put up new ones. I had removed the old ones when I painted the trim a few years ago. I have switched to yard decorations and wait to put them up until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

It was below freezing this past weekend but will be warmer this week.

In Oklahoma, we have neighborhoods that decorate with beautiful displays. It is wonderful to take a short drive to view. Now different cities do a Festival of Lights.

Here in Midwest City ours is done by the City but takes Donations to cover the expenses. No taxpayer dollars. The different displays are sponsored by companies, organizations and individuals. It has become quite a site. Gets bigger each year.

Oklahoma, the heartland, knows how to celebrate the Holidays. We may not have a big  Thanksgiving Day parade with Huge balloons, not a good Idea when ‘the wind comes sweeping down the plains. But we do have many Dinners to feed the Homeless. Many churches offer a meal to any and all for free. The same at Christmas, Shelters and different organizations attempt to make sure the homeless and the poor and needy have a Christmas both presents and dinner. We are a charitable state.

Ask yourself “how can I help those in need?” Then do it. Become a volunteer, Be a Bell Ringer for The Salvation Army, Work with your Church, Work with a Homeless shelter.  You will feel better and  those that you help will thank you. a true Win / Win.

from our family to yours, Happy Thanks giving and a very Merry Christmas!

TODAY’S DOSE OF COMMON SENSE

Happy ThanksgivingNovember is here and the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving (for those that observe it) is less than one week away. In our house this means the kitchen is about to get its annual workout with all the baking, Roasting of Turkey‘s preparing desserts and any other item one would prepare for this time of year. This is a time that families come together to give thanks for the many blessings they have received over the past year. Is Thanksgiving a “Religious” holiday? If I said yes than the atheists and agnostics would claim Foul (no pun intended). If I said No, than I would be reminded that the tradition was started by the Pilgrims to give “thanks” for the bounty that was provided to sustain them through the winter by the Native Americans. What were the Pilgrims? Religious refugees from England. They had come to The “New World” to have the freedom to practice their religion without being persecuted by the Church of England and the crown. Regardless of what other opinions are, Thanksgiving can be a world Holiday. Giving thanks for the blessings we have received does not need a special day once a year, it should be done on a daily basis. Other than giving thanks what is there to this holiday? The first answer from a teenager that shall remain nameless was “Food!” I had to laugh yet agree with the answer. Many in this world do not have enough to eat so to be provided a meal would be a blessing. Here in my neck of the wood’s, as in many others, we supply two local elementary schools with four “Thanksgiving Baskets” to be given to four needy families. The basket includes a Turkey, and all the dry goods to produce a wonderful meal. All the family has to do is cook the food. That is eight families that will have something to be thankful for. To keep the record straight, when I said “we”, I was referring to our congregation. It has been an annual mission project for many years. We also plan an annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the congregation on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This year it was decided to do a Pot luck dinner and everybody brings something.

Turkey for DinnerA few of us will cook Turkeys (which is what I am during as I type) and the house is full of that wondrous aroma. That will be increased when the turkeys are taken out of the oven to rest before we de-bone them and take the meat and drippings to the Church. We have a member who loves to make the gravy. We take her the giblets, the drippings, and the bones and she takes it all home and makes the gravy. Several gallons of it actually.

Service on Sunday is a wonderful time and by the time it is over everyone is ready to eat as the aroma wafts through the church as the meal prep is finished. What do you have to be thankful for this year?  Take a Moment and Thank God for waking up this morning. I always like to joke about waking up. Each day that I wake up without a white chalk line around me is going to be a great day! Be thankful for everything that you have.

Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving DinnerSo as I wrap this up and put the proverbial “bow” on it think of everyone you love and be thankful for your relationship with them, then think of those you do not have a great relationship with or that you do not even know and be thankful for them for they like yourself need to be thankful for just being alive and able to give thanks. We have been told to love one another as we love ourselves and to forgive those that have done wrong to us or others as we have been forgiving for the wrongs that we have done.
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I pray that all who read this will stop and take a moment to be thankful.Thanksgiving Wish