Dear Sir or Madam:
For reasons which I will explain in detail shortly, I wish to lodge a formal petition to move either Christmas or Thanksgiving (it doesn’t matter which one) to a different date on the calendar. I am not blaming you personally for being the thick-skulled nincompoop that placed these two holidays so close together, but I do wish to make you aware of the tremendous inconvenience this glaring oversight has caused me and countless others like me over the course of the past three hundred years (give or take).
Naturally I realize that messing around with the dates of these two holidays will likely stir up a hornet’s nest (after all, we American’s are rather keen on our traditions) – nevertheless, I am firmly convinced that once my case is laid out, the facts will speak for themselves.
They are as follows:
1. The meal: From December 26th until November 23rd of the following year (that’s a full 334 consecutive days, in case you’re interested), I do not serve turkey and dressing a single time because, as everybody knows, this meal is sacrosanct to "the holidays”. But come the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving morning, despite being up to my armpits in the cavity of a cold, clammy dead bird, there is joy in my soul and a song on my lips, for soon I’ll be savoring that long-awaited delectable feast!
Fast-forward twenty-nine days to December 22nd. In my refrigerator there is now one very expensive newly-purchased raw turkey, sitting cheek by jowl beside the pitiful remains of one four-week-old dried out, greenish-hued, metallic-tasting turkey from Thanksgiving. What’s worse, I’ve been eating turkey leftovers nonstop for a solid month, in every form imaginable – including giblet burritos – yet here I am, about to start all over again. The naïve among us might suggest, of course, that to avoid having overlapping carcasses, I could simply prepare something different for one of the two meals. Unfortunately, that idea will never fly around here. In fact, given the howls of protest I get from my family if I so much as slip a couple of garlic cloves into the mashed potatoes – trust me, it’s easier to move the entire holiday than to tinker with the sacred menu.
2. Weight gain: As if a lavish Christmas dinner isn’t deadly enough, the run-up to that day – with all those cookie exchanges and holiday brunches, and office parties and gift boxes in the mail filled with gourmet cheeses, and salamis and Belgian chocolates – is an absolute diet nightmare! Being forced to roll (quite literally!) into this perpetual yuletide feeding frenzy right on the heels of Thanksgiving, where I have just gorged myself until I am roughly the diameter of a Macy’s parade balloon, is totally unfair.
3. Decorating: Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for decking the halls with boughs of holly – I just don’t like having to shortchange Thanksgiving to do it. To me, jumping up from the table before finishing my pumpkin pie, just to be the first to put ornaments on my tree and lights on my house is sort of like dashing out of the theater before the final scene in a movie, just to beat the traffic. All I want is to enjoy my needlepoint stockings for a full thirty days, and have plenty of time to veg out in front of thirteen straight college football games in a row in my sweatpants. Is that asking too much?
4. Travel: This is a biggee for me, and quite frankly it’s what led me to launch the whole rescheduling crusade in the first place. You see, my husband and I don’t live close enough to our children and grandchildren get to their homes by car, unless we drive 26 hours each way (We love them, but not that much.) This leaves us no alternative but to fly, and believe me, two round trip tickets in less than thirty days gets expensive. We have a bazillion frequent flyer miles, but the airlines have a nasty habit of blocking out the dates around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I say why not move one of the holidays to late February or early May, when it’s so much easier to get seats using miles?
Well I guess that concludes the case for my formal petition. Your prompt assistance in rectifying this grievous scheduling error would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I hope you will have a very relaxed and pleasant holiday season. I probably won’t.
Lee Ann Lewis