Observance of Thanksgiving Day has descended to serving as a prelude to Black Friday sales. Misguided souls, bundled in fleece and thermal wear, sleep overnight on lawn chairs in retail parking lots while television reporters and cameras record the event. Is it any wonder hyped up consumers charge stores like they are running with the bulls? They are overly caffeinated and desperate for a toilet. The rest of us feel like slugs or spendthrifts because we will pay more.
These antics produce stories for national and local newscasts. The day after Halloween, newscasters begin with helpful hints on how to avoid the hazards of last minute shopping. Under the guise of avoiding holiday stress, a grinning, giggly journalist begins a series of reports on how to survive. She is not old enough to have survived anything except puberty.
Why have we allowed the media to brainwash us into believing stress is a certain reaction to the holidays? We have more technology and conveniences at our fingertips than any other time in history. Hosting a holiday event does not involve fattening and slaughtering animals for food. Decorating is no huge ordeal with all of the retail options. No one gets punctured fingers from stringing popcorn and cranberries.
Then there are the endless articles about family dynamics during the holidays. How to deal with narcissistic family members; how to deal with difficult mothers in law; how not to relive your painful childhood memories; how to revive your joyous childhood memories.
I am tired of all of the touchy-feely suggestions when there are obvious solutions for all of these issues.
• Stop watching television after Halloween.
• Shop online and enjoy Thanksgiving.
• Give up holiday decorating by declaring it environmentally irresponsible.
• Invite Mrs. Paul, Mrs. Smith and Marie Callender for dinner.
• Skype and generous portions of white wine can render even the most obnoxious family member tolerable.
Hardcore traditionalist maybe horrified by these suggestions, but deep inside every woman is a holiday nonconformist waiting to emerge.