When Thanksgiving and Christmas Collide

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These days, we’re all used to walking through retail stores in October and dodging Christmas displays of inflatable Baby Yoda yard art while we’re still trying to find the perfect Halloween pumpkins to decompose on our front porches.

The real holiday season mashup controversy, though, emerges in November, when we try to determine when it’s appropriate to start slipping our disks by dragging out the Christmas décor and festooning the living room with enough sparkly baubles to trigger our glitter jitters. Do we wait until we finish digesting our Thanksgiving giblets or move on into full-blown Yuletide beast mode?

I say go ahead and get jiggy with your tree trimming. Because let’s face it. Thanksgiving, while a worthy exercise in expressing gratitude for our blessings by replacing all of our bodily fluids with gravy, is a little like a pre-game warmup for Christmas. In fact, you’re likely to have some Thanksgiving leftovers mutating in your refrigerator when December 25 rolls around.

So why not combine the celebrations into a giant two-month carb-laden extravaganza? Besides, the two holidays already have a lot in common.

For instance, both involve eating until you doubt your self-worth and your digestive skills. Not only that, but we enjoy some of the same foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas–including that cranberry sauce that comes out of the can looking like a sunburned segment of a giant earthworm.

Both holidays also involve experiencing an entire year’s allotment of family irritation within the space of around twelve hours. No wonder grandmother lives over the river and through the woods.

And that particular song reminds me that both holidays have classic Charlie Brown specials-the best! (I still think Snoopy deserves a good old-fashioned neutering.)

Most importantly, these celebrations give us a chance to thank the Lord for the greatest gift ever given to humanity. And I really don’t think He gives a rip that Starbucks starts selling the Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino the first week of November.

I realize this philosophy will draw the ire of Thanksgiving purists who relegate Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, Scrooge, Ralphie in his pink bunny pajamas, Buddy the Elf, and Cousin Eddie in his bath robe to holiday quarantine until the clock strikes midnight after Turkey Day. (Ironically, these are probably the same folks who keep a forgotten string of elderly Christmas lights clinging to their houses for dear life year round.)

I’ve always loved both holidays and never could resist humming a few Christmas carols while unpacking our ceramic turkey salt and pepper shakers in early November. I’ve even been known to start putting out Christmas decorations, a few at a time, in the run-up to Thanksgiving, and no one seems to be bothered by it. (Then again, I’m pretty sure I could install a life-sized replica of Cousin Eddie’s dilapidated RV in the middle of the living room, and my three teenage daughters wouldn’t notice – unless it interfered with the WiFi.)

Yes, I agree that Thanksgiving is an important occasion and deserving of its own traditions (especially the pie), but I also believe in bipartisanship, and if Santa wants a seat at my Thanksgiving table, he is always welcome to an extra slice of canned cranberry sauce.

Copyright 2021 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected].

Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. He is also a frequent contributor to The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, which named him Writer of the Month for June of 2017, and he has served as a judge in the Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist in Residence program.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists says, "Whether he's breaking down the common types of yard sale denizens ('The Lingerer . . .she was here so long, I'll probably be able to claim her on my next tax return') or sharing cautionary tales of mattress shopping, Jason flays suburban life with a sharp wit. Shopping for his daughter's swimsuits, he wonders if he has 'strayed into the first aid section and . . .was looking at a new line of colorful ACE bandages.'"

Other than writing, his hobbies include berating the television when the Texas A&M Aggie football team is playing and sleeping as late as possible.