My annual pre-Thanksgiving rant

You know what it’s time for, folks?

That’s right. It’s time for my annual rant about how Thanksgiving really does come before Christmas! It goes a little something like this…

deep breath
Thanksgiving doesn’t get any respect. Thanksgiving is the big holiday that comes AFTER Halloween and BEFORE Christmas. It takes place in the month of NOVEMBER. November, as in the month BEFORE December, the month in which Christmas occurs EVERY YEAR. It’s not like Thanksgiving creeps up on us, kids. Yeah, the date sometimes changes but it’s pretty much always the fourth Thursday of November, and we have at least four Thursdays in November every single year. And yet every single year, everyone seems to rush right through Thanksgiving.

Sure, there’s some disagreement over the whole root of the holiday, the controversy over the negative impact of colonization upon the native peoples of America, and whether our historical information is really very accurate, but the bottom line is this: at some point, there were some colonists who were sitting down to a big harvest meal a few hundred years ago and being thankful they were still alive in the New World. And can’t we all get on board with being thankful for all our blessings? Can’t we all agree that it’s a good thing to sit down with our family members or our friends or some combination thereof, eat lots of hearty food, say a few words of thanks, and then loll around on the sofa in a tryptophan-induced stupor to watch football or play Trivial Pursuit or whatever you have the energy to do on a full belly?

I mean, personally, I love Thanksgiving. There’s no self-imposed or peer-induced pressure to decorate. No trees. No jack’o’lanterns. No costumes. No special outfits. (Er, I did buy my son William a turkey feather headpiece last year at Pottery Barn Kids, though. I couldn’t resist. It’s incredibly undignified, but oh, I love it so much.) Just lots of food and people you love. I realize that I should spend more time being grateful for all the wonderful people in my life, for the roof over my head, for all the beautiful things I own, for my health, and for so much more, and Thanksgiving is a good time to sit down, be quiet and remember those things. And perhaps to make a promise to remember them more often, too. It’s a good time to remember that I am so lucky, so lucky, and there are so many people out there who are not as fortunate as I am. Does it really diminish Christmas to put it off a few more days and celebrate Thanksgiving first?

My husband David and I don’t think so. We have pretty much always agreed that we don’t buy or do Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. We don’t put up our tree or hang a wreath on our door until Turkey Day is over. We try to not kowtow to the prevailing winds of Christmas before it’s really time. It’s a hard line to hold, though. You know when your two-year-old starts talking about Santa when he’s still eating his Halloween candy that the retailers have won. They have successfully managed to infiltrate the entire season of autumn with their tinsel and their flashing lights and their countdowns-to-Christmas signs. William begs me to push the shopping cart back to the back of Target so he can goggle at the giant rotating snowman displays. Those babies were already up and flashing their seductive lights the week before Halloween when we hadn’t even carved our pumpkin yet.

This speed-right-through-Thanksgiving trend makes me grumpy, if you haven’t already deduced that little secret. By the time Christmas actually rolls around, I’m starting to get tired of it. Everything’s already happened. For example, Nashville’s big Christmas Village festival has already come and gone, and it’s only Nov. 18. We’re so bombarded with Christmas stuff so early that even the stores seem to grow weary of it by the time Dec. 25 rolls around. Geez, it might already be too late to get William’s picture taken with Santa. And maybe I should just hold off on even buying candy for our stockings. After all, I’m sure the Valentine’s Day candy will be on sale in a few more days. Have I mentioned that we still have at least a gallon of Halloween candy still lying around our house?

But in the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to eating turkey and mashed potatoes later this week with my peeps. And only after that will I consider moving on toward Christmas.

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About jenniferlarsonwrites

I'm a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee. I have a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in English from Rhodes College. I'm a born-and-bred Southerner who spent a few years in Southern California, a rabid baseball fan and a would-be grower of tomatoes. You can also visit me at LinkedIn or on Twitter at @JenniferLarson.
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