Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The holidays are here.
ďThe Holidays,Ē has become the politically correct phrase that generically defines the last six weeks of the year.
Nobody says Christmas anymore. I am mindful and respectful of all cultures, creeds and belief systems, but itís not a holiday tree, itís a Christmas tree. Itís not a holiday present, itís a Christmas present. And when someone walks up to me and says, ďSeasonís Greetings,Ē I want to go all Scrooge on them and hit them with a lump of coal.
Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the holidays.
You can have Christmas morning.
Growing up, we were done with Christmas morning by 7:30 a.m. Ö 7:20 actually. As soon as the first glint of daybreak broke above the horizon to the east, weíd descend on the Christmas bounty like zombies in search of fresh meat. The carnage was swift and furious, and we took no prisoners.
Before we knew it, I began counting down the 365 days until next Christmas, wondering why I didnít get the bike Iíd asked for.
I had no self-discipline. Still donít.
Iíd tear through each package interested only until I saw what was inside and then it was on to the next, the previously opened present discarded to join the pile at my feet.
I never examined the present, never oohed and ahhed appropriately. I never admired the color or unique plaid pattern of the cardigan sweater, or exclaimed the argyle socks were just what I wanted.
In my mind, Santa Claus was not a very nice guy, with the whole ďnaughty or niceĒ thing. It was a conspiracy, I tell you. If we didnít behave all weíd find under the tree on Christmas morning would be a lump of coal.
I took that threat seriously.
Christmas Eve was all about anticipation. And food.
All the ham, roast beef, salami, olives, potato chips, pretzels, pickles I could stuff in my mouth.
You can have the presents in the morning, but give me the food tonight.
Now granted, while Iím thankful for a lot of things Ė surviving another year above the dirt being one of them Ė I do see Thanksgiving for what it is, a day devoted entirely to eating and football.
Iím noticing a pattern here.† What better holiday is there than that? Better than New Yearís Eve, I say.
On Thanksgiving I get to make a couple gallons of spinach dip for the family to enjoy. Last year I left the tub of spinach dip at home and spent the next six weeks eating nothing but sour cream, soggy spinach and Ritz crackers. You cut me then and I oozed spinach.
I donít care how much I loved Popeye as a kid I havenít touched spinach since.
Iím not as big a fan of the whole turkey and dressing thing as I used to be. I want something different this year.
Like Chinese food.
Letís skip the turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes and serve up some Mongolian beef, garlic chicken, Moo-goo gai pan and pot stickers.
I had resolved last year to no longer observe Thanksgiving as it was a day about gluttonous eating and I could be thankful without gorging myself on turkey legs and oyster dressing. But no longer observing Thanksgiving would go over about as well as the Moo-goo gai pan and pot stickers.
So, the holidays are here.
Iíve been waiting all year for this. Letís eat.
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