Thanksgiving Again!

Vaughn Hardacker here. Another year is almost gone and I’m staring my 68th Thanksgiving in the eye. I’ve never been a holiday type of guy (even less so now that my nuclear family has disintegrated) and for many years I’ve often wondered why people make such a big deal over them. My late wife loved them even though she worked herself into a state of exhaustion over them every year.

All that said. Since I lost Connie and most of my relatives have passed over to a better place or I have become isolated from them, I have started to look at the holidays differently. One factor that helps is I have many, many fewer people to provide for, the few who I am in touch with I have requested that they send no Christmas gifts and I will return the favor. What a stress reliever that is! It has taken the commercialism out of my holidays. I still don’t enjoy them, but at least I don’t get upset by ads in which every retailer in America tries to reach inside my wallet. I believe I lost Christmas spirit in 1973. I was a Marine stationed in Iwakuni, Japan. As Christmas came upon us all the Japanese stores were decorated with Santa Claus–now why would a Buddhist country that doesn’t observe Christian holidays do that? Simple, Japanese retailers don’t want to miss out on a good thing! Ask any one who works in retail what they think of the holidays–I worked in a big box store and we all hated and dreaded Black Friday (if you want to see a retailer invention look no further).

I remember my childhood. The Christmas season began on the day after Thanksgiving (not Labor Day as it does now), stores were closed on Sundays, and families spent those days together!

I now sit back and since I no longer have to run all over the place shopping for a bunch of stuff, which will in all probability be returned anyhow, have an environment that allows me to take time to reflect on the things I have to be thankful for:

This year’s list:

  1. Publication of my second novel, THE FISHERMAN.
  2. My third, THE BLACK ORCHID, under contract, edited, and sent to production for release on March 1, 2016.
  3. My companion, Jane, who has kept this surly old curmudgeon in balance this past year.
  4. I am, for the most part, healthy–at least healthier than most people my age.
  5. The terrific authors who have kept me entertained and enlightened.
  6. Readers! ‘Nuff said.
  7. The community of writers who were instrumental in getting me to where I am as a writer.
  8. Now that I’m retired, I can write whenever, wherever, and for whatever duration I want.
  9. Finally, I’m thankful to be closing in on the completion of the first draft of a novel I started in 1989. (At the rate I’m going, first draft in twenty-six years it should be ready to send to a publisher in 2037!)

Finally: I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and find a few quiet minutes to reflect on how lucky we Americans are to live where we do.

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2 Responses to Thanksgiving Again!

  1. Jewel Hanley says:

    That’s an honest post and I so agree with your viewpoint on the commercialism that has zapped my Chrismas spirit. I no longer exhaust myself trying to add to the excess of quickly forgotten packages under the tree. Instead I give each of my daughters and their families one check specficly earmarked to be used for travel and exploration with me. Those trips (and they may only be day trips) create memories that are long remember and a source of joy for all.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I usually hesitate to post things such as this because they can easily be viewed as being negative. But our society has drifted so far from what the holidays were intended to be. Our government is chipping away at our religious freedoms each and every day and soon all the holidays will mean is profits for the retailers.

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