“When everything around you is crazy, it is ingenious to stay calm.”
— Mehmet Murat Ildan
My dears, if you haven’t already gathered from the commercials, the sales flyers or the fact that every store has been selling Christmas items since early September, we’re officially about to enter the holiday season. Like a tsunami rolling into shore it’s about to hit our beaches and inevitably erode at our every last nerve. But fear not, gentle reader, because I’m here to throw you a buoy that just may keep your head above water.
This week kicks off with that ever foodie favorite known as Thanksgiving. Traditionally this is where we take the time to give thanks for all that we have to be thankful for and to gather with the ones we love to enjoy a feast of turkey, stuffing, heavy gravy and for some reason sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top because nothing says Aunt Vicky might have a drinking problem like seeing her waltz into the dining room with a casserole dish that you don’t know if it should be on a dessert tray or simply put directly into the garbage can.
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That’s the way Thanksgivings used to be, but tradition has gone the way of the Dodo. Instead of a hot meal and fellowship, it’s basically devolved into little more than a muffin and some Dunkin. What better way to appreciate the holiday of blessings than to force your family to forgo the forks and stuffing to stand in line waiting for a store to open at noon on Thursday just so you can bum rush a temp worker into selling you a television at a 20% discount. In days of old we used to bow our heads listening to someone say grace. Now we keep our ears perked up in hopes of hearing “Attention all shoppers…”
I know I’m probably giving you the impression that I think all this consumerism is a bad thing, but that’s not the case at all. Am I the only one that remembers what it was like to be stuck at the kid’s table? You’d be trying to be on your best behavior while your brothers were kicking your shins into bloody stumps under the tablecloth. Trust me when I say I’d much rather have memories of standing in a line on Thanksgiving afternoon watching my grandmother fight like a Spartan warrior over a Tickle-Me-Elmo, than having to recall walking with a limp throughout my holiday vacation.
Ironically enough, retail therapy may be the secret to surviving the season stress-free. Forget yoga or meditation, you’d be amazed at how relaxed you’d be in solitary confinement after getting arrested for stampeding a stranger in a shopping mall. Plus, I hear they serve a mean turkey dinner in jail. It’s win-win. Not only will you be able to avoid your family, but you’ll finally get to enjoy that Thanksgiving meal you’ve been missing out on. Who knows? Perhaps this could be a new tradition.