For years I have been griping about the mad rush to get to Christmas as soon as Halloween is over. Actually, there’s another word besides “griping” that probably describes it better, but I’m feeling polite today so I won’t use it, out of respect for female canines.
Anyway, we’re at it again. In fact, it’s even worse these days. Christmas and Halloween merchandise are side-by-side in some stores, and it just strikes me as wrong because it just feeds the tendency to steamroll past Thanksgiving – the best holiday of them all in my book – turning a wonderful day of family and gratitude into nothing more than a Yuletide warm-up.
I think I know why. Thanksgiving is missing something.
It needs better music.
Really, what gets you into the festive holiday spirit like music? No wonder Thanksgiving gets short shrift. The only Thanksgiving songs anyone knows are the one about going over the river and through the woods, and the hymn about gathering together to ask the Lord’s blessing. We need more songs.
I used to write songs for a radio station and so I’ve put my tunesmith hat back on to see what I could come up with for Thanksgiving. How about this one, sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells?”
“Turkey Day, Turkey Day, we love Turkey Day
Eat too much and fall asleep the good old fashioned way, hey!”
You’re right. It stinks. OK, try this to the tune of “Deck The Halls.”
“Politics with Uncle Davy, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
Please shut up and pass the gravy, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!”
Too close to home, huh? All right, let’s try again. This time, sing to the tune of “We Three Kings.”
“Eat three kinds of pie for dessert,
“And you’ll find your stomach will hurt…”
Wow. That is really lame. OK, one more try to the tune of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”
“I’ve been cooking since 2 this morning,
And the table there is groaning.
The family all gathers round,
Wolf it down! Wolf it down! Wolf it down!
For all of that preparation,
It’s a meal of short duration.
I’m feeding a pack of hounds,
Wolf it down! Wolf it down! Wolf it down!”
Maybe my tunesmith hat is a little out of tune. Or maybe I am making the mistake others make when they try to turn Thanksgiving into pre-Christmas, or the Big Meal Before Shopping. They’re making it into something it is not. Thanksgiving is special because it’s the one truly American holiday (no offense to my Canadian friends, who have their Thanksgiving, too). Anyone can celebrate regardless of who they are, what color they are or where they worship. It cuts across all boundaries.
All it is for is to say thank you. Regardless of the problems we face in this country, and we have lots, we still can and should be grateful for all the goodness we enjoy. And this is a day for that.