My husband and I put up our Christmas tree up on November 1st.

Some people think that’s a little ridiculous.

Some people think it’s funny.

Some people think I’m ready to skip Thanksgiving . . . and so what if I am?

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For my family, Thanksgiving isn’t the most favorite holiday anymore.

You see, on November 28, 2014, my momma took her last earthly breath in the middle of our living room, on Black Friday.

The day before, we were trying to stomach our Thanksgiving feast as she lay lifeless in a comatose state.

Months of slowly dying to cancer and entering into the final days of “lasts” really put a damper on the whole Thanksgiving celebration.

Don’t get me wrong, we still get together as a family, cook the turkey and sides, reminisce on past memories, and praise God for our blessings, but that doesn’t mean that the day is not difficult.

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about losing my best friend to the most horrendous disease I’ve ever witnessed.

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about how we changed all of our usual traditions, so that we could create a “new normal” since the glue of our family isn’t here with us anymore.

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about being robbed of future Thanksgivings with her, and how she will won’t be able to see her grandbabies running around barefoot in the kitchen and demanding snacks.

When I think about Thanksgiving, I go back to that empty, helpless feeling I experienced, as I helped her bathe, carried her to the bathroom, rubbed her feet, cried when she started refusing to eat, listened to her utter her last words, and watched as my once vibrant momma’s body slowly decay right in front of my eyes.

Honestly, most of the year, I am fine. I remember that she is in Heaven with Jesus and that I will see her someday.

Normally, when I think about her, I smile and remember all of the beautiful conversations, fun adventures, and wise lessons we shared together.

But for some reason, November hits, and a flood of painful, scarring memories plague my mind and I find myself having random crying outbursts.

This is why my family decided to bring our Christmas stuff out early.

After almost six years of struggling in November, I decided to change it up.

Our Christmas decorations always seem to bring us extra cheer, and I’m pretty sure I saw an article awhile back that science proved that early Christmas decorating makes people happier.

So, as you see some of our friends on social media put up their trees early, just smile or scroll away if it bothers you.

Some people struggle with the holidays, some people may have lost a loved one like me, and some people just may need extra joy with some pretty lights and tinsel—because 2020.

Whatever your reason for putting your tree up now or not until Christmas Eve, remember that it’s not about what we do or don’t do, it’s about Jesus.

No amount of decoration can bring you true joy like Jesus, and I’m thankful I have a personal Savior who walks beside me, comforts me, and corrects me every single day of my life.

Even if a Facebook memory from 2014 pops up and I have a crying outburst, Jesus will be my comfort, and I pray He will be your’s too, friend.

Be kind to the brokenhearted during the holiday season . . . they’re doing the best they can. 

Leah Lewis

Leah is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife to her best friend, and momma to a silly boy and a sweet baby girl.