I have long been a champion of Thanksgiving. And yes, Thanksgiving needs a champion. Sure, back in the day Thanksgiving had its moment of glory but in the last decade or two it’s been gobbled up by Christmas. For many people Thanksgiving is now a road bump on the holiday frenzy tour.
Which is fine you do you and all that. But I’ll remain stalwart in bestowing Thanksgiving the honor of being the November VIP. I will admit each year it gets harder to do this. In terms of sheer time management, it makes sense to get your Christmas decorations up in November before the December crazy hits. Plus, you get to enjoy the labors of all your hard work longer.
As for retail stores who can blame them for wanting to cajole us into spending money on holiday shopping as early as possible. Although, I feel confident in saying that most stores’ holiday décor needs a refresh. Tired artificial Christmas trees festooned with ornaments so dusty you could write ho, ho, ho, on them doesn’t exactly shout “deck the halls.” (#Macy’s)
But every year as I fight the pull to give in to an “early Christmas” I remember the wonders of Thanksgiving and so far that’s been enough to keep me from lugging my 28 bins of holiday decorations out of the basement on November 1.
Wonder number one of Thanksgiving is that it’s a 100 percent food centered celebration which means unlike Christmas there’s no present pressure. Because who among us hasn’t had their Christmas day marred by the specter of present pouting.
Now present pouting can show up in various forms from the child who’s disappointed in his Christmas haul (usually easily handled by some stern parental side-eye) to the haunting awkward silence created on December 25, 1990, when you mother-in-law gifts you both the Betty Crocker “Eat and Lose Weight “cookbook and “Choose to Lose: A Food Lover’s Guide to Permanent Weight Loss.” (Yep, 32 years later and still not over it.)
Another win for Thanksgiving is that it doesn’t linger. You’re in and you’re out. There’s no pressure or guilt trip to show up for Thanksgiving eve. There’s no Thanksgiving morning brunch before the main event. You’re one meal and done.
It’s even acceptable to leave a couple of hours after eating on Thanksgiving day as long as the kitchen is clean. Thus, providing you an escape plan to dodge tipsy relatives, the mansplaining brother and the competitive cousin who likes to turn the family post turkey “what are you thankful for” question into an epic humble brag.
Thanksgiving also gives you the gift of many football games. It’s usually perfectly acceptable for the cornucopia of college and pro football games being offered up by the TV gods to take precedence over any other activity including what time the turkey will be carved. Thus creating a safe space for you to hide in plain sight from family members.
A football game provides everything from talking points to use in conversing with your aunt-in-law to an excuse to zone out on the couch and not be seen as rude as long as you intermittently shout at the TV that the “ref’s an idiot.”
All this and more is why I give thanks with a grateful heart for the last Thursday in November. It brings me so much from a sweet potato casserole (That years later I discovered was actually made with canned yams. Frankly, I’m still processing the recipe deceit) to quality family time where unlike Christmas an early exit strategy isn’t frowned upon.
If you do decide to take the early Thanksgiving exit may I suggest spending some of your extra time gobbling 🦃 up my latest book Four Seasons of Snarky. It’s chock full of fun with one reviewer calling it the “laugh til you cry mood lifter we all need!”
Four Seasons of Snarky features some of the greatest hits from Snarky in the Suburbs. Where schemes, payback, and retribution scenarios all tell the tale of a woman who will admit she might be crazy, but you know in a good way. 😉
Click here for Kindle and paperback! www.amazon.com/dp/B0BGYQ9GK2