As the aroma of sizzling bacon, slightly burned toast, and slow-cooking greens wafts through my house to greet me as I wake, I realize the madness has begun. Coffee is brewing and wine is already being poured while chores are being divided among my brother and me. That’s right, it’s Turkey Day.
But who are we really kidding? Today is pre-Christmas. Regardless of what you think about the decorations, the songs, and the presents already being thrown in your face, Thanksgiving is the American kick-off for the holidays whether you like it or not.
Eating half of our weight in carbs and cranberries, we put our bodies into a voluntary food-induced coma. When we’re finally awake and can peel ourselves off the couch, we eat pie. But pie is really just an appetizer before a late-afternoon dive into that day’s leftovers. By the time the football game is over, ten pounds have been gained and the chef is sampling the brandy they used in the turkey brine.
At this point, we’ve made so many bad decisions, why not add another on top and go Black Friday shopping? Since that actually starts on Thursday now, Black Friday is the day most people decorate their homes with lights, garland, and small holiday themed statues from one of your five local Cracker Barrels. We aren’t even over our tryptophan hangovers as we blast “Run, Rudolph, Run” and deadlift boxes of shiny trinkets and sparkly do-dads.
We continue to feast like kings on our already dwindling supply of dressing, turkey sandwiches, and mashed potatoes when we realize that there’s not enough time to shop or finally accomplish our previous New Years resolutions. By noon of Friday, we’re sent into a financial panic and make desperate Pinterest searches for healthy left-over recipes to meet that target weight we set in January.
Yes, Christmas starts in late November. It really doesn’t get much more festive for Americans than eating, napping, and shopping. Sure, the fireworks and booze from the Fourth of July might be peppier but that’s what we have New Years, the Christmas Finale, for. This month will fly by and before we know it, the holidays have passed us by and we’ll already be planning for next year.
While this is the inevitable outcome every holiday season, let’s pause and enjoy today. Put down the coupons, hide your scale, and let the gravy flow. Enjoy your nap while it lasts and watch that Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special you’ve seen every year since you were a kid. Flip back and forth between the parades and watch Broadway performers and awkward celebrity appearances on floats when you know you’re just waiting for Snoopy and Woodstock to fly by. Enjoy your family before you have to contemplate their financial worth by spending an obscene amount on thoughtful gifts for them.
Tomorrow we jingle, but today, we gobble.