Holding Forth no image

Published on November 4th, 2013 | by Richard Black

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Thanksgiving and Thank you Abe Lincoln For the Holiday

The conclusion of October brings many things. One of them is the fact that I will forgo the pleasure of seeing pregnant teenagers trick or treat in track suits for another year.

Unfortunately the onset of November brings on a new set of horrors which is the beginning of the Holiday season. I suppose I should be thankful that the opportunity to buy Christmas ornaments or a cardboard Thanksgiving turkey is still regulated to the month before December but I can see the writing on the wall. At some point in twenty or thirty years the retail industry will have its way and we’ll be gearing up for a season of heightened drinking and suicide in June.

Until then I’ll blame Abraham Lincoln and the creators of the Gregorian calendar for plunking two holidays within a month of each other. Google it. I did. We have Abraham Lincoln to thank for declaring Thanksgiving a holiday at the back ass end of November when everything is getting cold and turning brown and the Pope for putting Christmas at the end of the year.

I’m sure their intentions were good.

Honest Abe probably thought it was a morale boost to bring family and friends together during the winter months. What better way to celebrate the brief kindness group of short sighted WASPs received from the Native Americans who were provided smallpox and musket shot in return?

In the same vein I’m sure the Pope or the Council of Trent or whatever body in charge at the time thought it might be a nice idea to bring family together to celebrate Christmas.

And in theory it’s a good idea. Getting together to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas or Kwanza or Hanukah with family should be a reason to remember our roots, take stock of what we’re all thankful for and revel in the camaraderie of kith and kin.

In reality it’s an opportunity to discover how one’s extended family shouldn’t be in a confined space for more than a few hours in any given year and twice inside of a month’s time is really stretching the fabric of the space time continuum.

The end of the year is tough enough already. In the Midwest the clocks have already been set back so there’s only about four hours of daylight. Sometimes I even go for a few hours before thinking about taking a handful of Quaaludes and a nice warm bath but those are the good times.

It’s unkind to compel family members who have nothing in common other than genes only speak to each other once or twice a year to share a holiday in November, turkey or not. Forcing them to trade $50 gift cards one month later over a ham that would have served a better afterlife as a football is, really, just sadistic.

Fortunately corporate greed may finally work in my favor.  When the retailers have their way a few years from now we’ll all be able to celebrate the Holidays in June or July in a much more humane setting. There will be a full twelve hours of daylight, an endless supply of gin and tonics and maybe a pool as well.

Until that time I will suffer through the dark hours and months with a large supply of alcohol, the way God and Abraham Lincoln intended, until this whole mess gets sorted out


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