I’m Grateful & All, But Please Allow Me to Vent.
God bless it! The [expletive] holidays are here.
Thanksgiving used to mean more than just consuming large amounts of food to over-fuel our shopping engines.
Retailers and regular people used to decorate for Thanksgiving (didn’t they?), not jump from Halloween smoke and fright to premature Christmas trees, toys and lights. I swear there were hints of the Christmas season in October this year.
My mind can’t catch up…All at once there’s leftover Halloween candy, turkeys dressed in pilgrim costumes standing in front of homes festooned with blinking Christmas lights and wreathes, non-stop big sale ads, ho ho ho! All mixed up together in an obscene holiday roll oozing with angst.
And what’s Black Friday anyway? Shopping as a blood sport?
That said, I’m grateful.
Grateful for the roof over my head, my family, the cats that are like interactive zen sculptures. I’m thankful to be able to follow my passion and to be able to chew my food thoroughly. We have food in our fridge and heat and clean water. I have my five senses, can walk and even run.
But (back to venting) I really hate the over-commercialization of our holidays. The mad rush that makes my head spin and that causes people to drive mindlessly, cell phone jammed to their ear, from sale to sale. The human swarming to buy gifts for the sake of getting it out of the way and procuring the best deal possible instead of just thinking about what someone might really need or want.
I have nightmares of Santa on a bulldozer—big box retailers on his back wielding red/green/black striped whips—chasing hoards of confused and harried people into blindingly lit-up stores.
Of course, I have a choice not to get caught up in this dark side of the holidays. We all do.
Here’s my plan: I’ll wake up in gratitude Thanksgiving Day even if that means I have to stick a post-it reminder on my pillow. I won’t follow the unwritten rule that says one must overeat to the point of discomfort. I’ll enjoy mingling with family without giving any thought to what holiday comes next or fretting over whether I’m being judged for not eating the Pillsbury croissants. I’m going to remain home or go to yoga on Black Friday.
I will not decorate for Christmas until the first weekend of December, at the earliest. I will enjoy the rest of November for what it is. November.
What’s become of the holidays may be ridiculous. But they can be as glorious, meaningful, laid back, fun, simple, authentic and full of love/joy as we want them to be. We can choose to take cover from the nonsensical consumerism avalanche.
And, damn it, that’s what I’m going to do.
Thanks for listening.
P.S. As long as I have your attention, please sign this petition urging Walmart to give Thanksgiving back to their workers. (Walmart has pushed their sales up to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. So much for Black Friday!)