THANKSGIVING: A Declaration for Decoration
Before I get to Thanksgiving, I want to encourage a visit to www.mariancaskets.com especially to watch the video. I had the website wrong when I first posted “A Story for November” – I had “coffins” instead of “caskets”. The video was nominated for a national award given out by the Smithsonian Institute. OK – now to the Thanksgiving post.
Tucked between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving draws the short straw in the holiday decorating lottery.
Walking around Aurora neighborhoods mid to late October, I was somewhat amazed at the decorations for Halloween this year. There seemed to be a noticeable shift even from last year with more front lawns becoming mock cemeteries and more creepy, ghoulish sorts of things on front porches, hanging from trees and on garages. It is such a beautiful time of year, it seems a shame that so much money is spent making yards look awful. Pumpkins were overwhelmingly carved into mean or sad looking jack-o-lanterns; giant spiders covered large expanses of walls; bushes had something spread over them that was supposed to look like cobwebs; there were effigies hanging from tree branches; witches whose flight had left them smashed into poles; skulls and skeletons “welcoming” visitors. Enough examples? Not a pretty sight. There was one house that each day for about two weeks added some new unattractive thing to their Halloween theme of ugly. I was tempted to go trick-or-treating there – maybe full-size candy bars.
As far as the collapse of culture goes, I suppose all this is minor. And I am glad to report that the trick-or-treaters who came by this year for mini-candy bars were a good lot: mostly little guys with cute costumes and polite. And though they didn’t seem to know how to respond to my New Evangelization effort of saying “God Bless” after distributing the goodies, I was still impressed with them.
OK, back to decorating. Thanksgiving could be, and maybe should be, a time when we counteract this trend toward the gruesome for Halloween with the beautiful for Thanksgiving. We would keep it simple – no giant, inflatable turkeys or to-scale Mayflowers in the yard. We’d be classy along the line of houses at Christmas that have a wreathe on the door and candles in the upstairs windows and a tree with non-blinking lights in the picture window.
We could have a bale of straw with a shock of corn behind it and pumpkins and gourds on and around it with a placard saying “We give thanks for all God’s gifts”. There could Millet’s The Angelus as a door hanger. A cornucopia could somehow be displayed with a proclamation, “Our Lord Blesses in Abundance”. Nothing too fancy, nothing too elaborate, just something that would announce that we acknowledge God as the giver of all we have and our thankfulness for His goodness. Maybe 2014 will see a few believers’ yards decorated in thanksgiving.
Just curious, how hard would it be to create a life-size statue of Miles Standish or Pocahontas?
Jezu, ufam Tobie.