Provided by Richard and Linda Eyre
Richard and Linda Eyre with their family at Bear Lake this summer.

We were a bit bothered a couple of weeks ago as we watched big stores pull down their Halloween witches and pumpkins and immediately replace them with Santas and reindeer.

What happened to Thanksgiving? What about the pilgrims and Indians? What about the November we used to have in between October and December? What about the best holiday of the year? What about the family-focused, gratitude-gathering, peace-providing Thanksgiving season that holds off the Christmas-commercializing for a little longer?

Let’s not let our families leapfrog over Thanksgiving. Let’s not let Thanksgiving become just a little one day break in the Christmas shopping and the hectic holidays. Let’s let November be all about gratitude and traditions and heritage and family love. Let’s let true gratitude be the harbinger to a meaningful Christmas season.

We want to do our part in sustaining and honoring Thanksgiving by sharing our annual holiday greeting in the form of a family picture and a gratitude poem.

At the risk of exposing more than we should about our age, we have been, for 46 years now, sending out such a poem (see our book "The Thankful Heart"). This year our thoughts turned to the season that houses this holiday — to the beautiful month of November and the feeling of the late, late fall. We send this year’s poem to you, our Deseret News readers, both as thanks for your support and as a small gift to open the holidays.

November

We like to think we’re in

The mid-autumn of our life

Octoberish

Blue after blue and gathering gold

Fall-full of summer memories

Geared down to a more relaxed joy

But we always anticipate November

Blustery — unpredictable

Warm days and hard-frost nights

we even like the sound of it

No-vemm-berr

Thanksgiving comes in the right month —

Thankful for harvest — for flaming Fall

For first fires on the hearth. It is

The bridge between autumn and winter

Blending appreciation with anticipation

Old October’s brilliance compensated

By the new possibility of snow

My late October birthday

Makes November the first month

Of my new year

A few bright yellow leaves

Still on the trees

But most crunch under foot

Pungent in the crisper air

The word is thankful — not thankfull

Humble — aware — receptive

Not quite full

Mostly lower case

Parts of November are perfect

Others restless and chilled

Desert beaconing — or Islands

No — wait — because the real year

Doesn’t end in mid-winter

But just before spring

Romans had it right — “Novem”

Is “nine” in Latin

And on their 10-month calendar

That ninth month happened in our March

9 — the number

Of our most sacred stewardships

9 — drawn from the center

It starts the clockwise outward spiral

Of Thanksgiving’s reach

You — friends and family —

Are the essence of that whirlwind

The calm joy in the eye of that storm

And there is slow time for reflection

And thanks-giving

The expression of which

Consummates joy