Ok, it’s two weeks (give or take) before Thanksgiving, and I have a confession to make. I’m one of THOSE people – the kind that is champing at the bit to get my Christmas on BEFORE Thanksgiving. There, I said it. Let the judging begin! But first, people, let’s think about this. This year, Thanksgiving’s on November 24th. If I waited until the 25th to decorate, that really only leaves THIRTY DAYS to celebrate Christmas!
My mom always used to say, during the day after Christmas doldrums, “Girls, let’s remember that Christmas is really 12 days. It begins on Christmas Day, and doesn’t end until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which is when the Wise Men brought gifts to Baby Jesus.” Blah, blah, blah, Mom – shove it up your frankincense! Christmas ends on Christmas night, when Santa calls it a year and squeezes his fat white ass into a first-class seat to Tahiti. When you wake up on December 26th, it’s OVER, and I’m sorry, 30 days isn’t enough time to really enjoy it.
I still love Christmas just like I did when I was little. There is SO MUCH WORK to do for Christmas when you’re an adult, and I will get to that a little later, but that won’t stop me from loving it. I love the decorating, because it reminds me of my Grandma, who was the Queen of Christmas. I knock myself out every year, trying to make it as special for my kids as she always made it for me. I love the smells of Christmas, mixing a homemade potpourri of water, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger, and letting it simmer all day long on the stove.
I love the Christmas music, fa-la-la-ing my lungs out and driving my kids crazy, just like my mom did when she inflicted her operatic caroling on us. I love the Christmas food – especially the cheese ball that I make only once a year, that everyone at my house thinks is gross except for me, and that ends up getting shoved down one throat and one throat only. (Recipe: take a jar of port wine cheese and a carton of Philly Cream Cheese, mix it all together, form into a ball and slap some nuts on that sucker. Food of the gods, I promise you). I love my favorite Christmas drink – egg nog spiked with bourbon and stirred with a cinnamon stick.
I love Christmas movies. So. Many. Christmas. Movies. I love the old ones like White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street. I love the funny ones like Bill Murray’s Scrooged, A Christmas Story, Elf with Will Ferrell, and my all-time-favorite, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (which I enjoy quoting even more than I enjoy watching. (“Hey Griswold, where you gonna put a tree that big?” “Bend over, and I’ll show ya.”)
And those are all my happy places during Christmas. The other, adult places (k, that sounds skeevy) represent a SHIT-TON of work that I have to jam into 30 DAYS! Why can’t I start jammin’ in the name of the Lord RIGHT now, Bob Marley style? Why couldn’t I have started two weeks ago? Everyone is all up in arms about Black Friday, and how it takes away from retail workers getting time to spend with their families, and shoppers getting time to spend with their families. Guess what, folks? If society weren’t so judgy about ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS happening immediately after Thanksgiving and not before, maybe –just maybe – Black Friday could be on, oh, I don’t know, November 1st??! Then we could get all the deals and buy all the things, and come Thanksgiving, everyone could soak up the chaotic, dysfunctional family time instead of worrying about setting their alarms for the ass crack of dawn on Black Friday.
Furthermore, if I had 60 days to celebrate Christmas, instead of 30, I could get all my decorating done in early November without getting judgy glares from my neighbors; and I could send out my Christmas cards along with my cheesy Christmas letter in November without all my friends and family laughing at me; and I know I’m shooting for the stars here, but maybe I could even get a little super secret wrapping done in November, when my kids aren’t creeping around every corner hoping to bust me! THAT WAY, I could actually ENJOY the month of December instead of cramming all of my Christmas tasks into 30 days, and stumbling back and forth, stopping this, starting that, spinning round and round, and looking to all the world like a drunk bag lady! Then, to add insult to injury, the drunk bag lady doesn’t even get to take one breather to enjoy the fruits of her labor, because by the time she has it all done, it’s time to take all the merry shit down again! And if you don’t do it lickety split after Christmas, guess what? More judging.
Why can’t we merge Thanksgiving and Christmas? It doesn’t mean we’re going to be any less thankful at Thanksgiving, so why are we keeping it so sacred? I’m sorry to be a kill-joy, but let’s REALLY dig in here. (Get it? Dig in? Like all the eating on Thanksgiving? Like we’re digging into the food and . . . never mind). Thanksgiving Day actually did occur historically, but it was not a peaceful maize-and-turkey-bread-breaking among the pilgrims and the Native Americans that all our elementary school textbooks led us to believe. It was the day the Massachusetts governor back in 1637 proclaimed a day of giving thanks for the safe return of a band of heavily armed hunters, who had just massacred 700 Pequot Indians. And the Thanksgiving-worshipers want me to hold off on my Christmasy merry-making for THAT horse shit?
So if that’s not the reason, then what is? Preserving the sanctity of one day of approved over-eating? Why do I have to keep Thanksgiving and Christmas separate? Why can’t I slog egg nog on Thanksgiving while screeching out Christmas carols, eating my cheese ball, watching Christmas Vacation, enjoying my lights twinkling on the Christmas tree, AND being grateful for everything I have in my life, INCLUDING the fact that I have all my Christmas chores done and now get to relax the whole month of December?! [Bag lady gasps for air, drops mic, kicks a stuffed turkey, exits stage left].