days, we're all used to walking through retail stores in October
and dodging Christmas displays of inflatable Baby Yoda yard art
while we're still trying to find the perfect Halloween pumpkins
to decompose on our front porches.
The real holiday season mashup controversy, though, emerges in November,
when we try to determine when it's appropriate to start slipping
our disks by dragging out the Christmas décor and festooning the
living room with enough sparkly baubles to trigger our glitter jitters.
Do we wait until we finish digesting our Thanksgiving giblets or
move on into full-blown Yuletide beast mode?
I say go ahead and get jiggy with your tree trimming. Because let's
face it. Thanksgiving, while a worthy exercise in expressing gratitude
for our blessings by replacing all of our bodily fluids with gravy,
is a little like a pre-game warmup for Christmas. In fact, you're
likely to have some Thanksgiving leftovers mutating in your refrigerator
when December 25 rolls around.
So why not combine the celebrations into a giant two-month carb-laden
extravaganza? Besides, the two holidays already have a lot in common.
For instance, both involve eating until you doubt your self-worth
and your digestive skills. Not only that, but we enjoy some of the
same foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas-including that cranberry
sauce that comes out of the can looking like a sunburned segment
of a giant earthworm.
Both holidays also involve experiencing an entire year's allotment
of family irritation within the space of around twelve hours. No
wonder grandmother lives over the river and through the woods.
And that particular song reminds me that both holidays have classic
Charlie Brown specialsthe best! (I still think Snoopy deserves
a good old-fashioned neutering.)
Most importantly, these celebrations give us a chance to thank the
Lord for the greatest gift ever given to humanity. And I really
don't think He gives a rip that Starbucks starts selling the Peppermint
Mocha Frappuccino the first week of November.
I realize this philosophy will draw the ire of Thanksgiving purists
who relegate Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, Scrooge, Ralphie
in his pink bunny pajamas, Buddy the Elf, and Cousin Eddie in his
bath robe to holiday quarantine until the clock strikes midnight
after Turkey Day. (Ironically, these are probably the same folks
who keep a forgotten string of elderly Christmas lights clinging
to their houses for dear life year round.)
I've always loved both holidays and never could resist humming a
few Christmas carols while unpacking our ceramic turkey salt and
pepper shakers in early November. I've even been known to start
putting out Christmas decorations, a few at a time, in the run-up
to Thanksgiving, and no one seems to be bothered by it. (Then again,
I'm pretty sure I could install a life-sized replica of Cousin Eddie's
dilapidated RV in the middle of the living room, and my three teenage
daughters wouldn't notice-unless it interfered with the WiFi.)
Yes, I agree that Thanksgiving is an important occasion and deserving
of its own traditions (especially the pie), but I also believe in
bipartisanship, and if Santa wants a seat at my Thanksgiving table,
he is always welcome to an extra slice of canned cranberry sauce.