Thanksgiving Rules; Christmas Drools

I said it and I stand by it. Fight me with your words if you dare.

I love Thanksgiving. If I am not spending Thanksgiving with someone, I am preparing delicious BBQ (because that is my tradition).

However, Thanksgiving continues to get short shrift and would likely pass most people by if they didn’t get the four-day weekend that comes along with the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Let’s face it, a week before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, Christmas decorations are lining the aisles of box stores, home improvement stores and even the local grocery store. And once 12:01 AM arrives on November 1, the commercials begin.

So allow me to help you count the ways Thanksgiving gets the better of Christmas.

Songs

There are no Thanksgiving songs. OK, there probably are a few Thanksgiving songs, but you never hear them, which is why nobody knows if there really are any Thanksgiving songs or not. You might think this is a disadvantage for Thanksgiving, but slow your roll just a bit there.

Nope…

There are approximately a zillion Christmas songs and each song has 50 odd different versions by 50 different artists. You would think with all those choices, it could be a Christmas music nirvana, but you kind reader, are wrong. First, you do not get to choose and second, there are only about five good Christmas songs out there. Most Christmas music is sugary tripe that is beaten into your skull for 45 days straight because every radio station goes to an All Christmas All the Time format.

I am pretty sure the murder rate goes up during the Christmas holidays because Christmas music permeates people’s cortexes for far too long – how many times can Grandma get run over by a reindeer… ADVANTAGE Thanksgiving!

Gifts

There are no Thanksgiving gifts. That is not to say that some thankful soul will not bring a gift of appreciation (normally alcohol thank you very much) for being invited to a Thanksgiving gathering. But as a tradition, gifts are not required for Thanksgiving, even though “giving” is in the damn title.

Christmas on the other hand is gifts to excess. As much as I enjoy watching someone open a gift carefully cultivated by me, the stress of gift giving can be overwhelming. Have you ever been part of a family where there are so many Uncles and Aunts that only the kids get gifts, but all the parents secretly hate it because their kids are getting too much crap they don’t have room for? Or how about gifts from far flung relatives that have no clue Johnny likes GI Joe with the kung fu grip and Janine is a soccer nerd.

And by the way, a scented candle is not a gift, it is a cop out.

Additionally, we have entered this void that once a kid reaches double digits, all they want are gift cards to Starbucks, Panera and Jamba Juice or cash. Where is the fun in that?

All that being said, the joy of giving that one person the perfect gift and seeing their face when they open it cannot be beat. So let’s call this a DRAW.

Food

Sure, I will play along, but let’s face it, Thanksgiving is built around food. Food that you will only eat once a year and wonder, why don’t we eat this more often?

I am not much into turkey, but any holiday that gives me an excuse to use my culinary skills and then lounge around in a food coma is fine by me. And doesn’t everything taste just a little better on Thanksgiving? Is it the extra butter?

Christmas gives us ham and fruit cake? First, I have personally met only one person who likes fruit cake. I am going to make no more comments on the matter. Second, nobody wants ham sandwiches for a month. If they say they do they are lying.

Food on Thanksgiving is not just a tradition, it is a production. Food on Christmas is, “it’s Christmas, we have to do something nice…” ADVANTAGE Thanksgiving.

The Weekend

Many companies (not all) give you a four day weekend for Thanksgiving. If you take the whole week off, you get nine straight days off for the price of three days vacation. That is winning my friends.

Christmas falls all over the place and unless you take vacation, you could be back at work the day after. Who wants that? Nobody.

Additionally, the entire Thanksgiving weekend is filled with football. Pro football, college football, family football and more football. Let’s face it, Thanksgiving weekend is built around kicking back and relaxing. It’s not so cold that you can’t send the kids outside and there are ready made leftovers in the kitchen, so assuming a reclined position is a breeze.

Do you know what you are doing after Christmas, weekend or not? You are listening to kids crying over broken toys; dealing with kids fighting over not yet broken toys; or standing in a line to return the clothes that are too big/small or toys kids don’t want or need.

ADVANTAGE Thanksgiving.

Christmas Ruined Thanksgiving

Some people may remember when Black Friday was not a thing. Instead, the day after Thanksgiving was a family day to relax together, go on a hike together, or do some other chill activity together.

Black Friday changed that and it changed Thanksgiving. Now instead of a trove of people in the kitchen making food, 40 different sales flyers are spread out on the kitchen table and a gaggle of adults are planning their logistics for Black Friday like they are trying to eliminate an enemy. This is war! And it is a war that most people will always lose, coming up short as their plans are foiled by a longer than anticipated line or by people who would dare start lining up the day before.

I don’t want to stand in any lines. I don’t want to stand in a line when I can be preparing and eating delicious food. I do not want to be standing in lines when I can be commiserating with the people I love and care about. I don’t want to stand in a line to save 70% on a cheap TV the store only has five of and there are 100 people in front of me. Fuck lines, and fuck Christmas for ruining Thanksgiving. ADVANTAGE Thanksgiving.

And, advantage to all the companies who have decided to take a break from Black Friday (and Thanksgiving Day sales too) and have given that time back to their employees.