I've been on this rant in the past, but in this exceptional COVID-19 pandemic year, I'm reiterating it even more vociferously - it's November and the entire month is blanketed by the autumn season. It is NOT winter, it is NOT the Christmas season. I firmly resist any attempt by the retail industrial complex to convince us that it's time to leap squarely into Christmas decor and celebration (and, of course, product acquisition) before giving the appropriate time and attention to which the harvest season and Thanksgiving are entitled.
Here in the United States of America, we cannot and should not leap directly from Halloween to Christmas and give short shrift to the season and singular holiday that prompts us to reflect on our blessings, the gifts of Mother Nature, and give thanks for them. I LOVE autumn in the Northeast, where I was born, raised and still live. (I also happen to have been born smack in the middle of the autumn season, so that might be part of my personal affection for this time of year...who knows.) There simply is nothing like the stunning colors of autumn and you won't find them in many parts of the country that don't have the array of trees that change from greens to stunning reds, oranges and yellows at this extraordinary time of year. And while, yes, it signals the end of the growing season, what a way to go with a spectacular display of colors!
While I'm not so enthusiastic about the leaf-raking that follows this astounding display, it's a small price to pay (and good exercise).
In this year, in particular, it seems that the retail industrial complex did not gear up for autumn as much as it was in a mad rush to push Christmas upon us in September. Granted, they were pushing autumn in August (when many of us were enjoying sand, sea and warm temperatures). I remember being dismayed back when I was in high school that retailers were foisting woolens, plaids and tweeds in clothing fashions upon us while we were in sleeveless cottons and shorts. I understood the season was coming, but it was at least a month or more away and I didn't need to prepare for it that far in advance. Maybe it was needed by the students who were heading off to college, so they'd have the items they'd need to be warm, but the rest of us could easily have waited. I just never liked being rushed and I still don't, but I like even less having the season that I love the most practically ignored and rushed on and off the store shelves in a blink of an eye. Why?
Why can't we enjoy autumn for as long as it's with us? I love autumn, and my favorite holiday of the year, let alone the autumn season, is Thanksgiving. It's not about religion, it's simply about being thankful and enjoying the season's bounty - cooking, food, and dining with family and friends, or just being on one's own and celebrating quietly. Any way one does it is fine, but because we're not being pushed to exchange gifts by buying stuff, the retailers don't shove it in our faces with the zeal that they dedicate to Christmas. It annoys me no end, and even more when the autumn harvest season is almost ignored.
So I'm just here to remind all that autumn matters, Thanksgiving matters, and to stop and think about what it means to you and what you have to be thankful for. It's not about buying stuff. It doesn't cost anything. Celebrate that.