’Tis the season for ... Wait. It’s already here?


How did this happen already?

It seems like yesterday I was trying to pull (transparent) hair from the top of my head to make everything come together in time for Christmas, and now I look at my calendar and Thanksgiving is next week? Did I sleep through spring? What happened to summer? Does Black Friday really take place in a matter of days? Will I ever stop asking questions?

Especially those that are rhetorical by nature?

It seems that our time has been divided into two states of reality. The first is the crazy time around the holidays, when we must dedicate every second on the clock to attending parties, shopping, preparing, traveling and basically dealing with all the fun and surprises that comes with family.

Sleep becomes the one thing I most want for Christmas by about the second week of December, and I’ve had more than one moment in time when I opened my wallet to pull out cash for a cup of coffee and it just laughs at me. I guess I prefer the laughter of an empty mocking wallet to the instant burn that comes from accidentally brushing against my credit card, hot to the touch from the constant friction of being slid through processors as I buy more and more things that people will put in a closet by about Dec. 27.

The second division of time is the period when we are not in direct preparation for the holidays. This starts right after the New Year is rung in, and consists of me eating Top Ramen and cereal for seven months so I can pay back all the money the credit card companies were kind enough to advance me at an interest rate of about 972 percent. I call this the “Impoverished Age,” and it seems to last longer every year.

Each and every year I get surprised when I see Christmas items or displays at stores in October, and each and every year I mentally chalk it up to corporate greed, shake my head and put it out of my consciousness.

“Those money-hungry jackals try to get us buying this earlier every year,” I think to myself as I walk past the displays and buy whatever ointment I might need that particular day, for whatever particular reason I might be needing to buy ...

But I digress.

I’ll give you all a few minutes to try to rinse away any mental imagery you might be suffering from before I continue. On the bright side, as you are feeling more than a little nauseous, at least I got your mind off the fact that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is right around the corner and you have all this shopping to do and that Christmas account you started has not swelled to the financial windfall you had anticipated and ...

Sorry. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

My problem, and I’m guessing I share this with many of you, is that I instantly equate Thanksgiving with Christmas. I remember being a kid on Thanksgiving morning and watching the Macy’s parade, anxiously awaiting the moment when Snoopy and all the other floats would make way for Santa to make his big appearance, and my grandmother spreading out the Sears and J.C. Penny catalogues for us to start putting together our lists for Christmas.

At that point of my life, Thanksgiving was not about a big meal and spending time with loved ones, and recognizing all that I had to be thankful for in this crazy world. No, no, no. This was simply a time when we would all be together so the adults could know that I wanted a handheld electronic football game or a new baseball bat. Now, what they apparently heard was me saying I wanted dress socks or a new winter coat, but I couldn’t explain the behavior of adults at that age.

I still struggle with that sometimes when I read some of the “Letters to the Editor” we receive, but that’s a whole second digression this week and I don’t think anybody wants that. I mean, what would this be if it was just one digression after another and ...

But I digress.

Dang. I did it anyway.

Sorry. My mind is a little more cluttered than normal with all the holiday stuff I have ahead of me. I’m sure most of you can relate.