Holy crap, it's November already! Of course, all of you knew this because as soon as Halloween candy began showing up on the shelves, Christmas doodads also insinuated themselves, their tinseled tentacles surreptitiously slithering along behind the fun-sized Snickers and the M&M Share-Paks. Now they've grabbed a bright and shiny hold and exploded into full-blown displays of giftwrap, Santas, tree-trimming shoppes, and Heaven Help Us, my Plain Dealer had The Toys R Us Big Toybook inserted into itself this past Sunday.
November has lost its personality. It is a month with an Identity Crisis. Think about it: September is still associated with the beginning of Autumn, the start of the school year, Labor Day, and the end of white shoes (no matter what the New Fashion Mavens may say). October is all about the orange and golden side of Fall, the gladiators on the gridirons, apple cider and cinnamon spice, and Halloween with its attendant ghosts and ghouls. We all know about December's personality: it's defined by Christmas or Hanukkah for most of us; it's festive and full of holiday spirit. It means decoration and colour and sparkle and snowy scenes and indulgence. It means, too, shopping and gifts and ribbons and wrapping. In a less commercial way, it can also mean music and family and togetherness and travels.
When I was a little gradeschooler, we always had a huge chartpaper calendar for every month, and every month had a picture or two on it that the teacher had cut out of construction paper. September had an apple and a ruler for back-to-school and maybe our county's bumper autumn crop. October had a jack-o-lantern. I loved February, which had a big red heart, and two silhouettes in cameo of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. (I think I was in love with President Lincoln even then.) For November the chartpaper calendar had a cutout of a big brown turkey. And we all made those construction paper turkeys by tracing our hands and then adding colored paper feathers with that crummy school paste that never held once it dried. (I never knew any paste-eaters, for the record. I wonder if that's an Urban Legend.)
But back to my point, and I do have one.
We need to Rally For Thanksgiving. This is a Holiday that has become lost along the way, obliterated by The Christmas Deathstar. And in that wake, November has become lost as well, also destroyed by The Politics, because aside from Thanksgiving (aka "That Day We Can Start Christmas Shopping For Reals!"), the only thing poor November is known for is dark money ads and Two-Party System Mudslinging.
I want to metaphorically paste a big ol' brown turkey back onto November and I want to save Thanksgiving. Will you help me? Will you Do Your Part? Because this is a Big Mission, and it will take All Of Us.
If you will, if you agree, Step One is to Take The Vow:
VOW: I will Honour Thanksgiving and keep it pure for all the month, not pushing it aside for Christmastime or Christmas Things.
(You can affirm your Vow in Comments.)
Step Two: You can join me in supporting the following retail establishments who will not be open for business on Thanksgiving Day:
5. BJ's Wholesale Club
7. Burlington Coat Factory
8. American Girl
9. Crate & Barrel
10. Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts
11. TJ Maxx
13. Pier 1 Imports
15. Sierra Trading Post
16. Radio Shack
17. Barnes & Noble
18. Home Depot
19. Sam's Club
If you know of others, please let me know. I will add them to this list. As you know, I don't have The TwitFace, but many of you do. Use that account for The Purpose Of Goodness and thank these establishments for Honouring Thanksgiving and all it represents. I'll be pegging away in the Olde Fashionde Waye (emaile) to let them know my thoughts. There's nothing like a little slacktivism to satisfy the soul. When it finally comes time to shop for gifts, I'll happily shop at many of these places first.
Step Three: Revel in the Pure Joy Of Thanksgiving. How lovely a holiday is when it commemorates things for which we are grateful! It asks for nothing other than that we celebrate our blessings, no matter if they are great or small. We can do it in our own homes or gather at the homes of loved ones, whether they are friends, family, or both. If the table is bountiful, so much the better! And let's not forget the fact that there is no gift shopping or gift giving or gift wrapping or gift angst. And there is gravy, beautiful turkey gravy, which is the Pinnacle Of Gravy Achievement.
Step Four: This step is primarily mine. I'm going to try my darndest to write something Novembery/Thanksgivingy here every day. I'm not entirely certain what it will be, and don't worry--it won't be an endless month of Syrupy Happy Thankful For Puffy Clouds And Cute Kitties And Look! Here Is A Pretty Leaf! If you have a topic or a request, certainly speak right up.
I think that's it. Four steps. Let's Rally For Thanksgiving! Slow this bullet train called The Holidays right the hell down. November deserves its due, and Thanksgiving certainly does. Oh. I thought of one more thing. Please, out of deference to President Lincoln, who set Thanksgiving as an Official American Holiday in 1863, can we please stop referring to it as the so much less dignified "Turkey Day"? Thank You.