It’s the first day of November. You’re at the grocery store, getting your regular necessities (and maybe some of that on-sale Halloween candy, too). And that’s when you hear it. As you casually stroll down the aisle on this beautiful, crisp fall day, you’re suddenly assaulted by an inescapable sound – “Jingle Bells.”
That’s right. The Christmas fiends are at it again. Halloween has just passed, Thanksgiving isn’t for weeks, and already they’re pushing this holiday on you like obnoxious a bunch of pesky holiday-invaders.
It’s not that you don’t like Christmas – it may even be one of your favorite holidays. But come on – how can you begin to celebrate Christmas before you’ve even had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving? We can’t deck the halls and trim the tree before we even carve the turkey!
Poor Thanksgiving receives the short end of the stick way too often. Metaphorically, it is the “middle-child” of our holidays. Placed right between Halloween and Christmas, this significant celebration gets overlooked all too often. Given the fact that this holiday gives us to the opportunity celebrate gratitude itself, it seems rather ungrateful of us to ignore it, don’t you think? The irony there is almost funny. Almost.
The good news is, you and a few courageous others have recognized this, and a push-back to defend Thanksgiving and its rightful claim to November has begun. More and more, you and those who share your indignation are standing up to the big, bad Christmas intruders. In fact, go ahead to take a minute and pat yourself on the back right now.
And then, try to wrap your mind around this: there’s one holiday that is even more neglected than Thanksgiving. Think of it this way. If Thanksgiving is the “middle child” of the winter holidays, then Veterans Day is more like your forgotten step-cousin. Although it’s actually far worse than that. It’s worse than that because this “step-cousin” is the very reason why we have the privilege of celebrating this holiday – or any other holiday.
So why don’t we have this same kind of outrage when comes to overlooking Veterans Day? In many ways, the sad irony in this situation is even greater than that of Thanksgiving. Overlooking Thanksgiving means we’re ignoring all our reasons to be grateful; overlooking Veterans Day means we’re ignoring the very reason we have anything to be grateful for.
The brave men and women we’re neglecting aren’t just the reason we can celebrate holidays; they’re the reason we can live freely every day. They are the reason we have safety and security in our own homes. They are the very support of America. So why don’t we take the time to support them – to celebrate them – when this day rolls around every year?
This year is a chance for all of us to make a change. This year, let’s recognize the people who make American life a possibility, and do it in the easiest way possible: simply celebrate. Don’t treat the upcoming Veterans Day like just another Wednesday. There are so many ways to do this. You can donate to a charity that supports veterans. You could call a veteran and thank them for their service. You could even just spend a few moments in silence to remember what our heroes have sacrificed for you to live another day in a free country.
Don’t forget to appreciate the men and women who served and are still serving to ensure your freedom. Don’t forget the sacrifices they’ve made and what you have because of it. Don’t forget to celebrate this Veterans Day.