It is important to appreciate the seasons

Published 9:56 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

Hello, my name is Alicia, and I like Christmas a lot. Like, probably too much. As in I may have more than half of my Christmas shopping list purchased AND wrapped and would like to formally apologize to all the friends who have had to talk me down from putting up the tree before Thanksgiving.

There is just something about the holidays that gets me excited. Maybe it is the promise of good food with family and friends. Maybe it is the holiday traditions like decorating Christmas cookies, viewing holiday light displays and placing my grandmother’s angel on top of the tree. Maybe it is just how everybody just seems a bit happier for a few weeks.

Whatever it is, it draws me in every year, and as much as I want to sympathize with those poor souls who complain about Christmas music playing in every store starting Nov. 1, I just can’t. (For evidence, view my Spotify app history, or better yet, don’t.)

Sometimes, I need a quick reality check during November to remind me that it is still, in fact November. I had one such moment on Friday night as I wondered around LaGrange’s Sip and Shop talking to store owners, customers and even a friend or two. I — being the Christmas loving, overachiever that I am — commented on lack of Christmas decorations on one part of a block that otherwise looked like it had fallen out of A Miracle on 34th Street and was greeted by a scandalized look.

Christmas decorations? Before Thanksgiving? Who is raised like that? (Not me, but at this rate maybe my son.)

Really though, I guess it isn’t about the decorations. It is about appreciating the season that you are in. It is about appreciating your family, friends and community on Thanksgiving. It is about giving thanks for all your blessings, and it is about giving back. Those are things that I can get behind.

Right now, several community groups are getting ready to make sure that everybody is able to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you look through the last two editions of the LaGrange Daily News, you will see evidence of the community preparing to share their blessings on Thanksgiving, and I can confidently say that those will not be the last stories that will be written on our incredibly giving community before Thanksgiving Day.

Every year, volunteers come out in droves to help serve their fellow man on Thanksgiving, and I, personally, am grateful for their efforts. I’m grateful for those who donated to those events. I am grateful for the owners of locations that allow these events to take place.

I have fortunately never had to actually attend any of these events as a recipient — I have always been blessed with an open invitation from some family or friends — but I know several good, hardworking people who were only able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal on one year or another because of these events.

Anyone can help with these events. If you have time, give time. If you have money, almost every group hosting a Thanksgiving dinner needs donations. If you have nothing but a prayer, then those help too.

So, yes I love Christmas, but for right now, let’s do what we can to make sure everyone in our community has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Alicia B. Hill is a journalist who writes for the LaGrange Daily News.