Tee hee, I totally just wrote that. I really mean nuttiness. Things get hectic, but would we really want it any other way? Well, sure. I'm already thinking, "I can't wait until Thanksgiving" with the fervor usually reserved for kids and Halloween candy or Santa. But, seriously. I really, really can't wait. I won't be over-stressed. (After all, I'm not cooking!) I will enjoy being with loved ones. And the day after, I will (tentatively) go shopping crazy early with my dear sister. It's a tradition of fun, and we wouldn't keep doing it if we didn't have fun.
I told you last year how I really don't mind the strange amalgamation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. (If Halloween gets in on the party, though, I'll have to put my foot down. Too freaky. It needs to be its own thing. One that scares me - I mean it, I'm not a huge Halloween fan. I guess my students would say I'm a Halloweenie.) But, Thanksgiving and Christmas are like cousins to me - it's okay for them to get together once in awhile; in fact, it's only natural.
While the literal definition of each holiday is obviously different (Jesus and Pilgrims...hmm), the themes and emotions behind them are the same. See your loved ones and enjoy your time with them. Be grateful for the things that you have and help out those in need. Eat some great food (but be sure that you've given some to someone else, be it a food drive or a humane society). Enjoy some sloth. Think about how important the "simple" things are. Depending on your religious affiliation, thank God for everything. It's all good - literally!
Again, this is why I'm totally fine listening to Christmas music now...even when we have strange 60-degree weather. (I will NOT be this pleased if December hits and we have nothing to show for it. There's a reason "White Christmas"
I think that the jolliness of friends, family and classic Christmas music help temper the rudeness of distracted drivers and selfish shoppers. It's a huge feat when I can finish a morning of Black Friday shopping with my sister and not be downtrodden by what mankind has become. Mind you, this feat rarely ever happens. Often, I find myself riding shotgun after my husband and I have enjoyed my brother-in-law's incredible Black Friday Brunch near tears over a person who nearly hit us (and then gave US the finger) or over a fight that broke out while shopping at 6am, only to finally resolve that the rest of my holiday shopping would be accomplished online. *sigh*
It's not for lack of optimism and cheeriness on the part of my sister and I. We figure there's no point in going Christmas shopping if you're not in the holiday spirit. We bring tea or cocoa, and in the past were even known to sing Christmas carols while waiting in line. People either rolled their eyes or joined in. And, in a nutshell (there are those nuts again), I think that's what a simplified cross-section of mankind would be: those who join in with the song and those who roll their eyes.
This is the first day of the holiday season...the first day that it's socially acceptable to start celebrating. I always wonder what percentage of the items on Black Friday are given as gifts, and what percentage are going straight on the TV stand or into one's closet. Sure, consumers can buy as they like, but it really brings down the day when it's about "me, me, me" rather than "my kids, my parents, my siblings, my loved ones". It bothers me when people see it as an excuse to act grabby, selfish and downright rude. Probably one reason I don't go for the big ticket items. Slippers, please! ;-)
So, while some of you may want to fight the holiday season with all your might and others of you may embrace it even more than I do, I just want to say that I hope you all get to truly enjoy it this year. And don't forget to really give thanks, in whatever way you see fit. Now, I suppose I should finally figure out what I'll be BUYING for people this year!