And sure, everyone is excited. Well, except for me, and perhaps people stuck in airports. As the years go by, I feel less like being in a Norman Rockwell scene and more like my mom, who denies all invites, and spends the time alone at home. No pressure, no worries. And it's the pressure that's getting to me, not a heavy, in your face kind of influence, but a more subtle swelling. Many people in town tend to orchestrate their front lawns and the visage of their homes to resemble a Hallmark scene - you know the type, overwhelming displays of smiley faced disposable items, the influx of those horrid inflatable globe units that shake like Parkinson's as they spew Styrofoam pellets over snowmen or reindeers or ghosts or whatever. And soon there will be a story in the local rag about some homeowner who has lost his noggin, and installed tens of thousands of colored lights around his home for Christmas, and set music to it, and pissed off some neighbors in the process. It makes good copy, and everyone chuckles, but it has gotten to the point, for me, anyway, that it's like the support the troops magnetic ribbon you see on the backs of suv's that get poor gas mileage. It has become a means of branding, and the more extreme the displays, the more extravagant the light show, the more the displayer becomes a substitution for the message (cue Linus on stage for the basics), and how less important the meassge becomes.
But prior to the light show, is thanksgiving, a glutton fest, where people eat turkey for that one time, watch football, and ponder getting up at 4 in the morning to make it to Wal-Mart in time for the opening of the doors. And there is stress to be had, for sure, because it's a meal that's hard to back out of, with people you may or may not want to be with for a long period of time. The most common retort you'll hear when any objection is voiced, is that, sheah, it's only for one day. No argument there, but maybe we could change the menu. Maybe make a Big Mac the centerpiece, or only eat crappy food, loaded in fat and sugar and all the things that aren't good for you. Imagine, "Who wants another piece of Whopper?," or "Can you pass the Snack Wrap?" That would free up turkey for more days during the year for meals, and slowly kill the fast food industry. Maybe people would be more concerned with each other, and not just a once a year cooked bird. Maybe instead of storming the aisles at supermarkets like rabid dogs, people could just relax, and not make, ah, what the hell am I thinking? Nothing will change, and we'll all bemoan how fast the time is going by, that Christmas is just around the corner, and I've only got a little time left to check my strings of lights and get them nailed up to the gutters.