The following is a guest post by my good friend, Jessica Buttram.
Though we have disagreed in the past, she and I are united in our belief that food holidays should be treasured. As such, she felt compelled to write this post about the Thanksgiving Shaft. I couldn’t be prouder. This is my personal declaration of independence and I have printed it out and signed it SUCH is my support for it.
If you don’t know, check out Jessica’s blog here and my advice is to read as much of her now while you can, because very soon she will be writing books that will require real money to access her geniusness. So get to it. But AFTER you read her post.
My list of Things That Piss Me Off is pretty short.
*Made-up English Words That Sound Like Real Words Therefore Causing Idiots To Use Them Particularly To Berate Others is pretty high up on that list.
*The (DAILY) Evening Ritual of Fighting With My Seven-Year-Old Over Bath Time is in the Top Five.
And I think we ALL know the Hierarchy of Doughnuts is pretty close to my heart.
But the most seasonally appropriate Thing That Pisses Me Off is, as the title suggests, The Thanksgiving Shaft.
This occurs when Americans (thanks to the help of Target and the Toys R Us toy catalog roughly the thickness of War and Peace and ABC Family with their generically Christmas movie special marathon) collectively forget about November and its existence for the sole purpose of one gluttonous, guilt-free Thursday. (And, if you are anything like me, Friday.) (Okay, and Saturday.) (But not the Sabbath, because gluttony is a sin.)
Here’s the deal. Retailers love Halloween. They go all out. As soon as they pull the Back-to-School supplies off the shelves, out come the orange and black and jack-o-lanterns and spooky displays. And why not? It’s a holiday that exists on the glorious foundation of demanding candy from strangers. I mean, come on, it’s the epitome of the American dream, right?
But then, November 1st happens and up on the rooftop the Christmas decorations come, and jingles playing over the radio and in elevators. I understand that there isn’t exactly a genre for Thanksgiving music, but…seriously? WHY NOT?
It’s sad, really. Thanksgiving had the bad fortune of being celebrated a measly month before Christmas. That’s like a child being born on December 26th.
No, worse than that. Thanksgiving is like the MIDDLE kid born on December 26th. It’s a double whammy.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas just as much as the next person. Jesus is the reason for the season, okay? But when November 1st rolls around, and until the fourth Wednesday of the month, I want to be able to talk about my calorie-busting Turkey Day menu with appropriate drooling and NOT be asked what my Christmas plans are. Listen, Facebook friends, if you are legitimately asking whether it is too early to play Christmas music, the answer is yes. Without a doubt, for the love of green bean casserole, YES.
So on behalf of post-Christmas middle-child babies everywhere (Thanksgiving feels your pain, kids), this year, I’m giving Thanksgiving the attention it deserves. Internetually, that is, because I give it the attention it deserves every year. Right here. In my little pink heart. And stomach.
One day a year, you guys, we are allowed, nay, ENCOURAGED to stuff ourselves like a, well, Thanksgiving turkey. Forget the diets; gain a third of your body weight from one single meal. It’s cool, I promise. (Plus? It’s like a built-in New Year’s Resolution. Win win, America!)
Celebrate our founding fathers who didn’t die off thanks to cholera or cannibals and embrace the privilege of living in America by eating so much you have to wear elastic pants and are physically unable to move.
I mean, why do you think there’s an NFL game every year on Thanksgiving Day?
So we as Americans can park it on the couch under the pretense of “watching the game” while our stomachs struggle valiantly not to explode, stretching to the (approximate) size of hot air balloons and cutting off the blood flow to our legs, making it ACTUALLY impossible to do something like, oh I don’t know, walk to the kitchen for seconds. (There’s about a two-and-a-half hour window where you won’t want to push that second plate of turkey and stuffing. Trust me.)
And not to mention that tiny little detail of having a nationally sanctioned day of Giving Thanks. So the country is broke, and we should be worried about Asians and terrorists outsmarting us, and Jersey Shore is still on television, BUT…Wal-Mart will be open on Thanksgiving Day if you forget to buy cranberry sauce. So there’s that.
Oh, and there’s also the whole thing about civil rights, freedom of religion, the right to say whatever dumb crap comes out of our mouths, Modern Family and all-you-can-eat buffets.
This Thanksgiving, I’ll be sure to be extra thankful for my lovely family, my husband who is legitimately my best friend and doesn’t laugh too hard when I refer to myself as his Trophy Wife, the way my seven-year-old’s front tooth juts out because it’s juuuuuust about to fall out, how my seventeen-month-old girl says “I love you” by blowing me a kiss, and being present and aware and a witness to all the good and beautiful things that go unnoticed all the other days of the year.
And also for an extra helping of my dad’s phe-NOM-enal cornbread stuffing.
Seriously, guys. GET YOUR TURKEY-EATIN’ PANTS ON!
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish, and what are you thankful for? If you say anything about Christmas in the comments, I will break into your house and eat all your pie.