Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Give Thanksgiving a Chance

1. Jesus
2. Spaghetti
17. Movies
41. Toast (see below for explanation)

Okay, so there's a radio station out here that starts playing Christmas music the week before Hallowe'en. I refuse to name it, but if you want to email me, I'll be happy to tell you who it is so you can flame them, too.

I have been accused of being anti-Christmas. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have our Christmas tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and there are already a dozen or so gifts to go under it. We've been planing eggnog parties and caroling since roughly the middle of May. We love the entire Who-Christmas Thing. But we don't open our presents on December 15 just because it will allow us to enjoy them longer. Similarly, I think it's a good idea to wait until the actual season before starting on the whole schmaltzy deal.

Maybe that's the problem. I don't mind being cheerful, and certainly don't object to others being so. I think kindness and jollity are as good in April as December. I love Christmas music, at least, I love the Christmas music that is worshipful of the Christ, especially traditional carols sung in the traditional way, and older, quieter Christmas music going back to the dawn of the holiday itself.

But I dislike Christmas lights in October. I get annoyed at Snoop Dogg's rendition of Silent Night as a hip-hop anthem. I especially hate the six aisles of Christmas kitsch overflowing every retail establishment in America. I believe that my revulsion to these things stems from a suspicion that none of these things is meant to celebrate the birth of Christ or the spirit of giving, but to extract the maximum cash from the largest possible number of suckers. I always despise that kind of behavior. That it is mixed up with a fellow in a red suit does not disguise the motive.

[NOTE: I do NOT object to spending vast sums on presents at Christmas time. More on that in a later post.]

And in the meantime, we forget almost altogether the Giving of Thanks on a late Thursday (didn't it used to be the LAST Thursday?) in November. That's a cruel shame. Thanksgiving is the perfect way to start the Christmas season. It's always appropriate to be thankful, but it's especially good to be so before devoting an entire month to giving things to others. Puts one in the right frame of mind, see? It's a necessary palate-cleanser after the institutionalized begging of Hallowe'en, the ickiest holiday ever created.

So give Thanksgiving a chance. At the beginning of each blog post this next week, I'll be listing off some of the things on our family's Gratitude List. Make one for yourself, too. You'll thank me.