Fairly Spiritual: Christmas is a big bully, just ask Thanksgiving

Once again, it’s that glorious time of year when I complain about how ridiculously early we start celebrating Christmas.

Even before the candy corn has hardened, Yuletide cheer is being pumped through retail loudspeakers. Tom Turkey is still gallivanting, carefree in yonder field, while the Christmas goose is being prepped for the cooker.

So much for Santa’s Thanksgiving plans, the malls require his undivided attention. Unlike the flu season, there is no way to inoculate one’s self from the general effects of Christmas’ premature arrival.

Now before I am labeled with the Scrooge moniker, I must profess that I am a Christmas junky. In fact, I have rather broad, inclusive tastes when it comes to most Christmas kitsch. Our home’s holiday decor ranges from manger scenes to red nosed reindeer stockings. We celebrate our Savior’s birth, but we are not averse to leaving a cookie or two for Santa. By no means am I a holiday purist or Christmas curmudgeon. My contention is most often an issue of timing.

For an event to truly be eventful, it must not happen every day. Unfortunately, in true American “suck the life out of it” capitalistic style, we’ve taken a special event and made it a yearlong ordeal. The Christmas season has turned into that clueless guest who shows up far too early and simply refuses to leave long after the party is over. Regardless of our hints, Christmas just won’t leave us alone.

The aggressiveness of Christmas has only been exacerbated by Thanksgiving’s passivity. Thanksgiving is a forgotten middle child in a home full of spoiled holidays. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas are so busy showing off that Thanksgiving is left alone to bake pies in the kitchen. Like all good middle children,

Thanksgiving tries its best to bring the family together. Unfortunately, many families are only thankful for the fact that Thanksgiving happens only once a year.

It’s rather depressing that most of the activities we engage in during Thanksgiving have nothing to do with the actual holiday. What does watching football or scouring Christmas sales flyers have to do with a common meal shared by Pilgrims and Native Americans? Even our Thanksgiving parades aren’t really about Thanksgiving. If I’m not mistaken, they all end with Santa. That’s like ending our Valentine’s Day celebration with a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Unfortunately, my rant will do nothing to stem the tide of Christmas overkill. Complaining about Christmas excess is similar to lecturing gravity. No matter the eloquence of one’s words or the merits of one’s complaints, the apple’s still gonna hit you on the head. Or, more aptly, the fruitcake’s gonna find you.

So it is official, the red-and-white Starbucks cups and Nat King Cole are in full rotation. With this in mind, you and I have a choice to make. We can go with the flow or buck the trend. The rebel in me says, why not go against the grain? What do I have to lose? With this in mind, I want to wish each of you a very merry Easter and a happy President’s Day.

Doug Bursch hosts “The Fairly Spiritual Show” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on KGNW 820 AM. He also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or doug@fairlyspiritual.org.