I have discovered that today, the fourth Thursday of November 2012, is Thanksgiving Day. Having heard of Thanksgiving over the years I always felt I would far rather celebrate it than Christmas. However, since Christmas is only a religious celebration after the fact of it being a pagan feast time I have always managed to come to terms with it.
We put up our tree yesterday. Martin has not yet won the battle to get a real tree, maybe as the girls get older he'll have more support but, this year again, the artificial tree with the decorations that came with it in 2003 has been brought down from the attic. This is the first year that Sadie and Holly have really been able to get into setting up the tree and decorating it together. The fun! You'd think we were in Disneyland! (Incidentally, I think they think everything that comes out of the attic is sort of magical because Martin wanted to get them a trampoline recently and I said no -because I feel they are far too young and I would be really worried about their little spines- so Martin brought an old single mattress down from the attic and they have had the time of their lives on their "amazing tampoleen.") Within a half an hour of the tree being up and decorated Sadie and Holly were picking the baubles, bells, stars and bows off it and playing with them on the floor. They are now scattered to the fours corners of the house and I saw one bow outside in the garden already which seems inexplicable. I always put the tree up early because as soon as Christmas is over I feel there's too much clutter and I'm dying to get everything put away. You'd think in a house of forces of destruction like Sadie and Holly it wouldn't bother me but it does.
I have recently had the good fortune to have gained a sister-in-law, Lindsay, who is from America. Colm and Lindsay married in the U.S. last month and had the Irish leg of their celebrations in Cork last weekend. Sadie went totally berserk at it and Holly was bawling with tiredness soon after it started, so despite Sadie's best efforts to pull an all-nighter, we had to go early. Lindsay is our first sister-in-law and Colm is our youngest sibling so it's kind of noteworthy even outside of them getting married. Since two of my sisters are already spoken for I just need to get my brother, Eoin, to settle down with an American and my sister, Rosemary to follow suit (em...not the same American) and we may be on the way to having Thanksgiving celebrations every year. So, on this day I am going to be grateful while the rain pounds the windows, Sadie and Holly are fighting over gold-sprayed stars and the recycling is strewn across the muddiest part of the yard after the gales last night. I am grateful.