Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Think about it

Wordnerd is on a quest to save Thanksgiving.

I can't agree more with her sentiments.

Look around the local shops......Where are all the paper turkeys? Where are the platters bedecked with gobblers? Where are the indian-corn decorations and the cornucopias? Where are the orange and brown tablecloths and the fine china and the cider?

Where did they go?

I'll tell you where.

They were trampled under the onrush of crass commercialization of Christmas, that's where. You'll find them, gasping for breath and a little shelf space, somewhere near the deeply discounted Hallowe'en leftovers. You'll find them clawing for recognition in the classrooms of schools. You'll find them shoved aside in the card aisle as the great flood of green and red begins its annual deluge of our senses. You'll find them clinging to the corner of the home-decorating sections of craft store, being pushed out of the way by peppermint-scented candles and candy wreaths. They're there; you just have to look.

It's sad on so many levels, not the least of which is that at some level we, as a nation, feel it's necessary to celebrate a holiday by BUYING STUFF that's SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE or we're just not "doing it right."

I say "humbug" to this notion. When the wreaths started coming out on store shelves before the end of September, I felt the first nerve grate. When the inflatable lawn ornaments started leaning over the wide lanes of the local big box stores, flinging bits of styrofoam snow about madly in their self-contained worlds, a tight band of irritation formed around my skull. When I heard my first sanitized nondenominational (and secular!) "holiday" song before November even began, I got queasy.

Y'all, it's Just.Not.Right.

Hey, I like Christmas just as much as the next person. Pretty boxes and prezzies and eggnog and family and Andy Williams on the radio and "Chestnuts Roasting" and all that. Cozy! Happy! Festive!

But WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much about "stuff."

This is why I like Thanksgiving the bestest of all our nationally recognized holidays. It's gentle, and calming, and satisfying. It's gratefulness, and grace, and warm candles and mashed potatoes and sausage stuffing and parades and football.

(A quick word on televised parade coverage. Every year I get excited to watch them, believing that maybe this is the year that I can watch one without being subject to stupid-ass Broadway show musical reviews and lip-synching D-listers who take time away from THE MARCHING BANDS and FLOATS and MASSIVE BALLOONS of possible mayhem and DEATH that are NOT all about the latest frigging toy that some damned manufacturer wants to sell a ZILLION of for (shudder) Christmas, and ohbytheway, shut UP already you stupid insipid announcers who can't even read a G-D CUE CARD right!!!!!! Gah! Please, CBS, just turn a couple of cameras on the parade route, tell me QUICKLY who the band is or who made the float or how tall Underdog is and LEAVE ME ALONE to enjoy the parade!

Aside over. I'm all het up and need to get back on track)

So, Thanksgiving. A day, just ONE day, on which we're asked to reflect on all we have, to purposefully give thanks for it to whatever higher power we choose, to realize that life is a good thing, a valuable thing, a thing of short duration for which we ought every DAY to give thanks.

Thanksgiving is a REAL holiday. Is it too much to ask that Christmas, or at least the grotesque spectre of Christmas hawked by our friendly and avaricious neighborhood retailers, wait politely in the wings until Thanksgiving has its day?

One day a year. That's all it is.

Let's remember why it's there, and bring it back, with purpose and conscience.

Then we start on that whole parade thing.

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