Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Forgotten Season

Cornucopia - Steve Mordue
Fifty or sixty years ago--not even a lifetime--there was an additional holiday season during the fall. After Halloween, there would be a full month before Christmas carols trilled on the airwaves, stores decorated evergreen trees--and gift advertisements began to run incessantly. During those autumns of yesteryear, the entire month of November was devoted to the celebration of that truly American holiday, Thanksgiving.

Indian Corn Door Hanging
In art class, I remember drawing turkeys on construction paper and fashioning pilgrim hats to bring home. Department store counter-tops were decorated with autumn leaves in their glorious riot of color. Around the neighborhood, cornucopias spilled their bounty from the center of dining room table tops, and the earth tones of Indian corn wreaths graced front doorways. When I was in elementary school, we had foil window decorations--autumn leaves, a big tom turkey, a pilgrim's hat--that my mother unpacked from the closet each year on November 1. We would tape them up in our living room window, where they stayed all month. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day used to be a season of anticipation, looking forward to delicious food and warm fellowship. Once upon a time, Christmas could wait until the week after the big fall feast.

Somewhere along the decades, Thanksgiving got shoved aside by the over-commercialization of Christmas. I associate the decline of Thanksgiving with the growing secularism of our culture. There is no longer any sense of the rightness of pausing to offer gratitude to God, as the pilgrims once did and as generations of Americans following them did until recent decades. As for the meaning of waiting for Christmas as the celebration of the Lord's birth, again there is no reason to wait. As ironic as it may be, in our modern society God's connection to Christmas hangs on by the barest of threads. Especially in this century, you can listen to Christmas music streaming all day long and you'll never hear a traditional carol or a single whisper of "the reason for the season."

So we plunge from witches, ghosts, and carved pumpkins directly into trimming Christmas trees and shopping the sales without stopping to savor the beauty and grace of the Thanksgiving season. It is our loss that we have largely forgotten this special holiday that acknowledges the bounty of our land and the beauty of our families and friends. We still eat our turkey and stuffing, but rather than being its own meaningful event, Thanksgiving dinner now seems to be a pit-stop on the way to the mall.

Today I'd give a lot to see a few autumn leaves taped onto a living room window somewhere in my neighborhood.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Day of Honor

Veterans Day ~ 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

What Wins As We Lose

Below is a small snippet, but Mark Steyn's sharp analysis of what is so seriously wrong in our culture is chillingly accurate. I highly recommend a full, close reading of Steyn's entire article, The Triumph of Amoral Will.
"A republic requires virtue, and the decline of virtue is accompanied necessarily by the decline of the concept of evil, and its substitution by exculpatory analysis of the "motives" of evil. A more useful conversation would be on what it takes to remove the most basic societal inhibition - including the instinctive revulsion that would prevent most of us from taking the lives of strangers, including in this case eighteen-month-old babies...Texas officials now believe they have their "motive" - in their words, "a domestic situation going on in this family"; in my words, "the black void at the heart of the act". It is a grim phenomenon, its accelerating proliferation is deeply disturbing, and it is not unconnected to the broader societal weakness in which Islam senses its opportunity."
~ Mark Steyn, The Triumph of Amoral Will

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A Better Day for Houston

The Houston Astros won Game 7 of the World Series tonight, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers. No matter what the weather is like tomorrow, it will be a sunny day in the city of Houston.

George Springer celebrated with teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning. 
Credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images