Pandemic Thanksgiving Rules

I went back and re-read my post, The Good China, or, The Thanksgiving Rules from a few years ago. So much of it seems alien now. Watching real parades with real crowds. Pledging to do “thankful Thursdays” and write a thank-you note a week to someone who wasn’t expecting it. Yeah, like that happened. The stress of learning how to be a single parent of a young adult with autism, coupled with worrying about getting a job, getting a dangerous job, quitting that job, and it taking a long time to find another one, saw those plans fall by the wayside.

But something I never abandoned, even this year, the endless pandemic year, was my commitment to The Thanksgiving Rules. They’re simple, really – give Thanksgiving its due, before you deck the halls and fa-la-la.

Here’s an illustrated guide:

Thanksgiving Day

Day AFTER Thanksgiving:

And the garlands are up, and the lights are hung outside.

I confess to bending a little this year on the the “no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving” because Christmas music makes Angelic Daughter so happy. She created that cute collection of Christmas thingamabobs, artfully giving the Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus center stage.

We didn’t gather together with any family this year. But Angelic Daughter and I had a peaceful, restful, and delicious Thanksgiving, which is feeding us for the remainder of the weekend.

And as I was preparing the meal, on my feet all day for two days, just to do up what’s traditional for us, including whole berry, homemade cranberry sauce:

Angelic Daughter said to me, “we should give food to people.”

“Yes, honey, we should. I’ll find out when the pantry is open for donations.”

There’s a food pantry two blocks from my house. I haven’t seen lines of cars around the block for that one, but I’m sure they’re seeing their share of desperate people.

So in midst of thankfulness for our extraordinary blessings and good luck (I have a job, we have a home, we have clothes on our back and heat that works) I’ll empty that plastic prepper bin I have in the basement and haul those canned goods to the pantry. And if there’s a chance to give a family a Christmas meal, I’ll fill a bag for that. It ain’t much, but it’s something.

We can be good to one another as we crawl our way to 2021.

Tonight at music time, the hour before bed when Angelic Daughter and I just sit in the dark together, listening, we’ll bust out the Christmas music and enter the season of waiting and hope. Out of darkness comes light. Let’s all get there together.

Wishing you a good work-from-home job, a roof over your head, food in your pantry and heat that works, I remain,

Your wondering-how-advent-could-be-here-already-and-totally-unprepared-for-Christmas-gift-shopping-but-turning-on-the-Christmas-tunes-anyway,


2 thoughts on “Pandemic Thanksgiving Rules

  1. Christmas music – I know so many off the beaten track songs for Christmas that my folksinger mom used to sing- spirituals and folk tunes- sometimes I feel that I am too full of them to hold inside my head. I am looking them up online to see if I can remember the lyrics from my childhood memories. It cheers me up and music for the soul is warming no matter the season. Warmth of hearth and heart to you and yours.


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