The sun sets earlier this time of year.

More often than not, after a day of providing lawn care services, we find ourselves driving home at twilight. The cool autumn breeze fills our car while we take in all that is not seen in the summer evenings. Some of the most common things seen are Christmas light displays. While we love the warmth and fond memories these lights bring, we find ourselves wondering if it’s too early for them. Why is it that stores rush to promote Christmas immediately after Halloween? Does Thanksgiving still matter?

We all know the story. In 1621, a group of pilgrims and Native Americans broke bread together in celebration of the first harvest. Since that time, America has routinely set aside the fourth Thursday of November to be a day of family gatherings, feasts, giving thanks, and, hopefully, to see the Dallas Cowboys win another football game.

Halloween is a time to celebrate and laugh at the silly things we fear. Christmas is the season we focus on being a blessing to those we love. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to pause our busy lives and look around. When we do, we’ll find a plethora of gifts we never earned or expected to have received.

A beautiful, manicured lawn is simple to achieve. It is a matter of doing the right thing consistently. We earn it. What we don’t earn are the moments that occur on that lawn. The countless hours of playing with our kids or dogs. The laughter shared while lying on the grass with a loved one. The picnics shared with family and friends. These are the moments that make us feel grateful to be alive.

Gratefulness is one of the key components to happiness. It focuses on the things we have, rather than what is missing. It is from this feeling that Thanksgiving exists and still matters today.

Photo by Rose Erkul via Unsplash