Wrapping up Thanksgiving and Preparing for Christmas

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Faith, Nature | 4 comments

“Chirp,” I heard as I surfaced about 3:30 this morning and thought: another wrapping up thing. I listened intently and was rewarded with another chirp. Yup, one of the smoke alarm batteries needed changing. After pulling our bedroom door closed to dull the sound while leaving space for Mac to move back and forth between the great room and our bedroom, I snuggled back into bed, weaving the remote chirps into Keith’s close breathing. That wrapping up would wait until daylight.

Wrapping Up Thanksgiving

Keith and I enjoyed visiting his family for Thanksgiving—and returning home to pick up the dogs, wrap up the holiday, and prepare for the next. Although the decorated pumpkin still claims space on our coffee table, a garland now lights up the loft. 

As my readers know, every day, I list what I plan to do—network, chores, workout, meals, devotion, write, read, practice—because I am a list-maker. Today, I plan to think about the ways I love God, my family and friends, my life—to claim what gives me joy. The next time I’m fearful or tired or just plain vexed because a smoke alarm is chirping, I’ll pull the love God list out of my back pocket and create another list: “For [who and/or what], I give you thanks.”

That’s what thanks-giving is all about, a reminder to extend the sentiment throughout the year.

Wrapping Up Provisions for Winter

Because of food poisoning and colds from which we are still recovering, Keith and I are behind on yard chores. Though I planted 150 bulbs on Saturday and Keith chopped wood for our weekend fires, we need to move wood from the piles in the turnaround to the firewood racks outside the garage—and finish blowing leaves off the deck, from pathways, and out of road ditches. The latter is on my list for today.

Winter is coming, and apparently, we’re going to have a more seasonal one this year.

Wrapping Up Preparations for Christmas 

This morning, after changing the basement smoke alarm’s 9-volt battery, I carried the small step ladder up to the main floor. Since I already had the ladder out, I decided to knock the bugs off the key-hole window rafters and sweep them up. That way, they wouldn’t rain down on the Christmas tree once we put it up in front of the French doors.

What else is on my preparation list? Annual donations, Christmas gifts and cards, the tree, food, and of course, music Whew! As I wrote last week, sometimes it’s hard to maintain one’s life in Christ, when I insist on doing, doing, doing. Even though the work is all good, it’s easy to lose the “being” message. So, then I pull out Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians and read: 

Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

And that’s what preparing for Christmas is all about.


  1. Angie

    I, too am a chronic list maker so I loved the idea of a gratitude list! I am a big believer in practicing gratefulness for all of the blessings in my life, including the beautiful supportive people. So thanks for giving me an idea to memorialize the things for which I am grateful.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for your comment and encouragement, Angie. You are on my gratitude list:-) -C.D.

  2. Linda

    How did you maintain lists when your children were little? I make lists, but it seems like I accomplish so little on them because of all the unexpected things that happen throughout the day. The unfinished tasks roll over to the next day, I add new tasks and prioritize the next day and it continues.

    • Carole Duff

      My list-life while raising children was exactly as you describe. On “good” days, I might get to cross off some things; other days, I ended up with more things on my list than when I started. Yes, it continues until the next stage of life, which is quieter.


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