A local car dealer runs a commercial consisting of short video snippits of each of his offspring -- they're up to grandkids by now, at least -- sharing whatever scripted-cute thing they're thankful for. While a jaded eye notes the ads are updated only at long intervals, presumably whenever there's a new crop of photogenic young, and it is likely no few of the "kids" have diplomas and dependents of their own while we're still cooing over their tongue-tied efforts, it is a sign of the season and a reminder to consider what one might be thankful for.
I'm thankful I'm not in Texas just now -- or Oklahoma. Or in any of the locations the TV is telling me are going to get ice-stormed good and hard over the next few days.
It's no coincidence the bigger holidays generally fall when the weather's lousy: they started out dodging around the necessarily seasonal work on farms. Halloween provides a respite as harvest winds up and by (U.S.) Thanksgiving, you'd about have the crops all stored and all the canning (etc.) done, with any surplus left for the feast. Another month of make and mend, and you're ready for the shortest day of the year, a time spent in religious observance and/or with family.*
But that means the latter two come along as the year is winding up for a final bad-weather onslaught. It means the tradition of gathering doesn't keep us in our homes and communities, but traveling to connect with scattered families.
Spare a thought for the season's travelers, if you would, and for all their kith and kin. Especially this year.
* Snark back and forth at one another all you like about the happy coincidence, Cosmic Good Planning or cynical manipulation responsible for Christmas falling so close to the Winter solstice. 'Tis when it is either way and even the most long-standing of arguments over calendars doesn't move it much.
7 months ago