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  • Happy New ThanX-mas! - 26 Nov 2008
  • Waiting Till the Shine Wears Off - 12 Nov 2008
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    26 Nov 2008

    Happy New ThanX-mas!

    The costumes were just put away for the year.  The candy was shared, swapped and eaten in excess.  The pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns (Jacks-O-Lantern?) were cold; their candles extinguished only moments ago.  Halloween had only been over a few hours, but On November 1, all the retail stores in the land opened to remind us that Christmas is here!  Almost!

    In America, we’re all about holidays.  We have one every month in this country.  And if we don’t have our own holidays, we’ll take yours!  (See “St. Patrick’s Day,” “Oktoberfest” and “Cinco de Mayo.”)

    Everyone in America – by law – loves the celebration, pomp and circumstance of each month’s holiday, though we hate those strange, holiday-free months.  I’m looking at you, April, June and August!  Seriously, can’t we steal any April, June or August holidays from an unsuspecting culture and turn it into too much beer, bad decorations, misinformation and, for some reason, Mardi Gras beads?  What about Chuseok? I know it’s in September, but we can move it to August.  No one will notice.  Chuseok.  America.  August 2009.  I think we’re ready.

    While people scour the Internet for surrogate holidays for April and June (since August is now taken care of), I’ll return to my main point: The Christmas decorations were going up before Thanksgiving.  And not just a few days before Thanksgiving – twenty six days!

    There are some people that think there should be a law regulating when retailers in America should begin decorating for the December holidays.  Some say December 1.  Others say mid-November.

    The truth is, there can never be a law, of course, determining when stores are allowed to decorate.  First off, they need to be ready for the ominously named “Black Friday.”  Next, what if people suddenly forgot how to read a calendar?  They need the early November reminder/warning that Christmas is only two months away!  The last thing you want is someone stumbling into the store, mid November, just as the Christmas decorations are being put on display.  “Christmas decorations?” They’ll say.  “It’s only November 13!  I only have six weeks before Christmas!  I totally lost track of time!  I’m still hung over from Chuseok.  Check out my Mardi Gras beads!”

    It could happen.

    To avoid disaster (and increase retail sales) I’m proposing something different.  I suggest we combine all the winter holidays into one, two-month long spend-and-eat fest, from November 1 to January 1.  We’ll call it New ThanX-mas™.  It’ll be like the BosWash megalopolis, but for holidays.

    And if you’re wondering why I’m not including Halloween in this, well, come on.  Let’s not get ridiculous.

    But every holiday needs its traditions.  For Thanksgiving we carve a turkey and watch football.  For Christmas we cut down a tree, bring it inside and decorate it (described by comedian Jim Gaffigan as “the behavior of a drunk man.”).  For New Year’s Eve we stand in the cold, wear party hats and count down to Midnight.

    Is there a way to combine these things?  I bet there is.  Tree hats?  Bring inside and decorate a turkey (A live turkey.  New ThanX-mas, like Get Out the Map is all about adventure!)?  Count down to carving?  I’m sure we’ll think of something.  And I’m sure, somehow, Mardi Gras beads will become involved.  Before long, this will make as much sense as Easter.  (Jesus, eggs, candy, giant bunnies.  What?)

    No matter which holiday you celebrate, the one thing you should do, every year, is to take a family picture.  It’s the one time of year families are together and can usually tolerate each other for 1/60th of a second, at 5.6 with a flash and 800 ISO.

    So remember to take your family picture!  This year and every year!

    Of course, it would look super-awesome if everyone were wearing tree hats and Mardi Gras beads, standing with a decorated turkey.

    Happy New ThanXmas™, everyone!


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