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A confession: I am a Christmas junkie.

A tree lighting, cookie baking, house decorating, carol singing, present over-buying Christmas nut job. I am unashamed of my Christmas enthusiasm. There are worse things I could be overzealous about, right? Heroin? Deep fried Twinkies? Running with the bulls? RUNNING WITH SCISSORS???

When I was little the Christmas season officially kicked off when the tiny, white house behind us lit up their holiday lights. I could see this house from my bedroom window and both my brother and I kept a watchful eye on it starting in October. Every night after dinner we’d run upstairs to my bedroom to look out the window. Dejected but still hopeful, we would return to our Atari console only to perform the same ritual 24 hours later. Then inevitably, after a delicious meal of Rice-A-Roni and pork chops we would run upstairs look out the window and see it. Finally! The red and green “old-skool” Christmas lights surrounding the front windows of our neighbor’s house. We’d high five, hoot and holler, and run back downstairs to tell our parents it was officially Christmas. This is also when my brother and I started the quest “to be good.” No fighting, no tormenting babysitters, no stealing Mom’s Vantage 100s and selling them to our friends for a quarter each. We failed miserably at this quest but at least we made up quickly. Santa had to give points for speedy reconciliation.

I no longer live in my parents’ house. Even they don’t live there so I needed a new ritual and found it thanks to WARM 106.9. When Warm 106.9 tosses the soft rock out the window in favor of All Christmas, All the Time soft rock it’s officially the Christmas kick off. When this happens, I wake up to Warm 106.9. I go to sleep to Warm 106.9. I listen to Warm 106.9 in my car (sorry NPR) and at my desk at work. I am All Christmas, All the Time.

It is with great pleasure I announce to all of you, WARM 106.9 has called the season. Rock around your Christmas trees. Deck your halls. Have yourself a Merry one. Christmas is upon us!

But wait. Something is off this year. Let me run to my window to see what is the matter! Oh yes! There is the problem. Our little friend, Thanksgiving is a no-show. We can’t get this party started until the day after Thanksgiving, right? But how can we have a “day after” without a “day of?”

People! Sound the alarms! There’s peril in the partridge tree! But fear not. I’m on to you Thanksgiving. And I come bearing a merry message:

Dear Thanksgiving,

I’m really sorry. Did no one tell you your holiday would be in November this year? Maybe you’ve got something better to do than grace us with your presence? You’re lazy, that’s what you are! You’re lazy like a fat uncle on T-giving with a belly full of tryptophan! You want me to give up a full week of Christmas cheer because you couldn’t get it together and show up on time? And you know what else? You’re jealous. That’s right. Jealous. Jealous like a middle child who is always overshadowed by the cuter, funnier, more popular baby of the family. You’re jealous of Christmas because everyone knows you’re the opening act. All you’ve got to stand on is turkey. Well here’s news for you, T-giving. Christmas has turkey too. And ham. And prime rib. And all 3 if you’re coming to my house even though there’s only 4 of us and 1 doesn’t even eat meat!

I know it must be hard for you. I am the baby in my family (one might argue cuter, funnier, and more popular too. I can say that because I know my brother doesn’t read this thing.) I know not this blatant disregard you live with. I can’t imagine what if feels like to show up at the party only to feel like everyone is waiting for you to leave so they can toss out the leftovers and plant the Christmas tree where you were standing. To be a guest who stayed maybe one day too long. You’ve barely left the driveway before the sheets are in the washer and the disinfecting scent of Lysol wafts through the air. You claim to be all about tradition? Well here’s a tradition for you. Get over here, do your thing, and politely take your bow and clear the stage for Christmas.

I’m sorry you have to go through this but you have some perks too. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is cool. And lots of people call Black Friday “the day after Thanksgiving.” Feel free to claim that one too! And…and…football? Well, no, I guess Sunday has you beat there. And Monday come to think of it. Oh! Pumpkin pie! You’d think Halloween would have snatched that one up, but nope, that’s yours too. And where would cranberries be if not for your harvesty coattails? Still in the can, I imagine.

I don’t want to fight with you, Thanksgiving. You used to be my favorite holiday. After all, you celebrate the two things I’m really, really good at—sleeping and eating. But this whole indolent attitude is getting out of control. You know things can’t get started without your concession. Nordstrom respects that. Just the other day I saw a sign in their window saying, “Our halls won’t be decked until November 28th because we like to celebrate one holiday at a time.” Passive aggressive? Sure. Not to mention a total dig on Macy’s who sits 30 feet away fully blinged out in all its garlanded glory. You must understand by now you can’t keep Christmas away.

So, Thanksgiving, I’ve been patient. My halls should be decked by now but I, like Nordstrom, am waiting. My faux trees are still in storage. My wreath is still in the box. The ornaments I bought last January for 75% off are still wrapped in paper. Please know how hard this is for me.

Don’t be mad at Macy’s or WARM 106.9. They haven’t so much as given up on your arrival as “covered your now-cold dinner in Saran wrap and placed it in the fridge.” They know you’ll come back someday. And don’t be mad at me for already starting my Christmas shopping. There’s some really good deals out there! I’m just asking that you do not become complacent. I’ve got one finger on the merry trigger and I’m not afraid to shoot. I’ll give you 2008, Thanksgiving. I’ll use the extra week to be extra grateful because it’s been a pretty gratifying year. I’m even making a pumpkin pie for your dinner. Paula Dean’s recipe! You like Paula Dean, Thanksgiving? I bet the two of you go way back.

So what do you say we just be thankful for the time we’re about to have. Dinner? I’ll be there with bells on! No, no, not like jingle bells or silver bells. Just, you know… bells. We’ll eat, we’ll drink, we’ll be merry. Oh! I didn’t mean merry as in Christmas! Come on! Quit being so sensitive. Hark? Do you hear what I hear? Up on the rooftop! Got to go! It’s Santa Claus! Oh wait, that’s not Santa. That’s Paula Dean! We’ve got a pie to make, Thanksgiving. See you at dinner. And don’t forget… I’ve got my eye on you.

With Warmest Thanks,

Shelly Mazzanoble

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