{via pinterest, from wanelo}

it's that time of year again. the time where everything is about to get crazy. we're on the cusp of it if we haven't catapulted into it yet. it's the time of year where the malls are parked up even on weekdays, and everyone is freaking out and overspending, and on and on it goes.

and yet. right in the midst of all of that is this day we call thanksgiving. a day that revolves around food and family and gratefulness.

it does kind of make me chuckle that thanksgiving is immediately followed by black friday - the craziest shopping day of the year. let's sit down around our dining room tables and give thanks for what we have, and follow it up with a mad dash to get a big screen tv wherein we end up punching out our neighbors to try to get there first… i mean, the juxtaposition is a little crazy, no?

anyway, that's not the point today.

the point is: we have many things to be thankful for.

i'm not one of those people who uses november as a time to put "something i'm thankful for" on facebook everyday. not because i don't like the idea, but because i'd forget to do it all the time, and i don't really want to turn the idea of gratefulness into a stressor. but, i do think it's so important to remember how many things we have to give thanks for.

it's so easy to get wrapped up in christmas - in the plans and the parties and the gifts and the family and the trips and the wrapping and everything else that goes along with it. it's really easy to think about all the things we need to get and do and have and all the things we want. [i tend to find more things i want when i'm shopping all the time, even if i'm usually shopping for other people this time of year.]

it's easy to get overwhelmed, and caught up in the hype and the consumerism that goes along with christmas. but really, at the end of the day, it is imperative that i stop and remember what is really important.

i am so grateful for our little family, and our little life. work is crazy for peter right now, and in turn that makes things a little crazy for our family in general, but i'm thankful for his work. i'm thankful for his company. thankful for the living he earns for us. thankful for the time that i have to spend with keane every day. thankful that keane is here. thankful that this year he'll start to see the magic of thanksgiving and the magic of christmas.

i am grateful for our larger family and the friends we have scattered all over this country, and in some cases, all over the world.

i am grateful for the tasks at hand - baking for family, mailing a care package, trekking to different cities to celebrate holidays, selecting gifts, wrapping packages, sending thank-you notes. in the midst of some of these things they are not always fun, but the end result is more than worth it.

as we head into this holiday season i cannot help but think back… for the longest time i thought christmas was wonderful and magical. and despite some more recent years not exactly living up to that "magical" standard, i still love the magic of the season. and i'm beyond excited to watch keane see and understand the magic of christmas. the magic of the holidays, the wonder inherent in them. because it goes beyond the show. it goes beyond the outside stuff. it's that moment, when you're sitting in a candlelit christmas eve service, and everything is pretty much done, and you exhale. and you think - this is what it's all about. the humility of a creator who would make himself one of us. who would allow himself to be bound by space and time, and come to save his creation.

it's about a love so great we cannot fully understand the depths of it.

at the end of the day i am grateful for the things that i have, but i am so much more grateful for the people in my life, and for the intangible blessings that i may not be able to wrap my arms around, but that wrap themselves around me.

i am grateful, and i strive to continue to be grateful, even when circumstances are less than perfect.

happy early thanksgiving!


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