Twyla Righter

It’s November… we are in the Thanksgivingy time of year. We should listen to Thanksgiving music and sing Thanksgiving carols…

Maybe those aren’t a thing, but this is still the season of giving thanks. You buy frozen turkeys, you dry bread crumbs or in my case buy a box of stovetop. You read Martha Stewart, realize she’s got way too much time on her hands, and instead throw together grandma’s green bean casserole with cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. You whip up Aunt Judy’s sweet potatoes and Grandma Krista’s cranberries. You do a month of Planks and Thanks with Teri Motley and spend 30 days focused on gratitude and you shiver through the annual Turkey Trot at Oak Grove with your friends and neighbors on Thanksgiving morning. These are the traditions people… this is what is appropriate!

What is not appropriate (Pastor Calvin of Grace Community Church) is starting Christmas in October! It is not ok to be putting Christmas decorations out at Walmart weeks before Halloween. Not acceptable. Stay in your lane, Santa. I can’t possibly look at Jack Skellington costumes next to baby Jesus. I’m pretty sure it’s sacrilegious. I think God is with me on this one. We are turning all of the time from October to January into some huge hodgepodge of soup of ‘holiday something.’

You don’t just mix everything together?!?! It’s icky! Would you layer halloween candy with green bean casserole? No. You give them each their time and place! Do you actually think that an aisle of orange and black looks good butting up with the aisle of green and red? I’m not even a visual person and it makes my eyes throw up.

They say that people who decorate early for Christmas are happier. Are they really? REALLY? Look at me: I don’t decorate early and I’m a big old pile of joy. I refuse to accept the premise that those who decorate early are happier people and I assert that correlation does not equal causation. I will counter with an alternative theory: people who decorate early are irritating those who decorate at an appropriate time and therefore are creating irritation amongst those around them while remaining personally unaffected. They aren’t happier, they just aren’t being annoyed by… themselves.

Maybe it’s true, maybe they are nicer, happier, and more irritatingly joy-filled people. Maybe I’m just jealous. But, I do contend that Walmart is violating my sense of decency and holiday enthusiasm by shoving them all together all in the hope of making a few extra bucks off of me.

I’m not even a big fan of Halloween. If it weren’t for chocolate and children I’d skip that one completely - but I still think it deserves it’s day. Give it a chance. And Thanksgiving just breaks my heart. It gets zero chance to shine. Sandwiched in between the two. It’s like we just skip from the zombie costumes to angels. I need my weeks of gratitude people. LET ME BE THANKFUL! (The capital letters mean I yelled that… it adds authority.)

I know the season of gratitude is probably less needed by those cheerful, giddy, skip straight to Christmas in August folks, but some of us may struggle with being grumpy, jaded, irritable old coots… and a little time focused on family and food and how blessed we are might be a really necessary sacrament in our annual trip around the sun.

Alas, I have yet to convince the world that daylight saving is silly, or that the yield sign turning right off of Townsend onto Chipeta is asinine (although the left off of Chipeta and onto Townsend was brilliant! Major props to whomever set that up!) Or that early out Wednesday was invented in the depths of Dante’s hell just to make me look like an incompetent mother several times a year; so I don’t suppose the fancy pants people who run the marketing departments of major national stores are going to decide that my column from rural colorado is worthy of their consideration — but here’s my authoritative take on the subject: The weekend before Thanksgiving the Christmas stuff may begin. No sooner. And not for everyone. For those of us who treasure Thanksgiving it will wait until we’ve picked the turkey carcase clean and boiled it down for soup. But, for you marketing folks, I’ll allow the trees and ornaments the weekend before Thanksgiving. Every single second they are out before then is an abomination and you should shudder as you contemplate the effect upon your eternal soul. Merry-it’s-not-Christmas-yet.

Twyla Righter is a native of Western Colorado. She is the mother of three children bent on world domination (they have pie charts) and a proud CASA advocate. She writes two columns for The Press as well authoring the definitive guide to a horrible pregnancy: “About That Pregnancy Glow.” Righter’s “Outside the box” column appears every other Friday in the Montrose Daily Press.

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