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Merry Thanksgiving

You know what will put you right in the holiday spirit?

Having your kids home from school for a whole week while you get ready for said holidays.

I’ve been a little confused as to why our kids get the entire week of Thanksgiving off, then are only out of school for a half day before Christmas. I’m sure that our school board didn’t intentionally try to torture me when I needed to work, shop, cook, plan, decorate and maybe sit down for 17 seconds.

There’s nothing like making a whole trough of buttery carbs while your precious little angels keep asking “Do I have to eat that?” and “When are we going to grandma’s house?” and “Why can’t tomorrow be Christmas?” and “Mama, why is your forehead so wrinkly?”

Just warms the cockles of your heart.*

If you’re a crazy person like me, you’re getting ready to spend the whole Thanksgiving weekend visiting all of your relatives, so that when you get home, you better hit the ground running in Christmas mode. I haven’t even made a list, let alone checked it twice to see what Cyber Monday deals I can get.

But at least my kids are home all week to “help” me do it. Over the weekend, I implemented the Toy Purge Thunderdome Rule. I insisted that no Christmas decorations can come out of the attic until every toy in the house has been inventoried and sorted, and the volume of toys decreased by at least half in preparation for the Christmas influx of new junk… I mean gifts.

To my great surprise, the kids were cooperative with this horrible process because they were eager to get their Christmas trees up. I will take advantage of any motivation if it means my kids comply without whining.

It appears that our house will be dressed for Christmas when we embark upon our Thanksgiving circuit, and I’m pretty happy about it. Despite my dislike of all the stuff we get, I actually am a big fan of the whole Christmas season.

The moment Thanksgiving is over, I’ll cue up my “Holiday Favorites” playlist and leave it on repeat until December 26th. I’ll bake hundreds of cookies, wrap dozens of gifts, attend a few parties and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationtwice a week. I’ll do some of these things with my children, but their biggest contribution to the holiday spirit is endlessly changing their Christmas wish lists and making Santa want to dip into the peppermint schnapps a little more than usual.

And don’t even get me started on that dang elf. Now that I think about it, the things I want to skip are the things that make my kids the happiest: all the gifts and the elf. If I could find a way to recreate their joy and wonder without those things, holidays would be pretty great.

Maybe they could get the gifts and be excited, then the gifts would disappear and my house wouldn’t be so cluttered for the next six months? Or maybe we could find some way to get them only things that they will play with and appreciate for more than three days?

I’ll try sending this wish list to Santa. Before the schnapps.

*I have no idea what this means.

Overheard at the salon: “Fools, I’m a hairdresser — Roy G Biv is my homeboy.”