I had a breakthrough this past Thanksgiving: I realized that I had been brainwashed.
I was raised believing that Christmas music and the Christmas tree needed to wait until after Thanksgiving was over. “Thanksgiving needs space!” they said. “One holiday at a time!” they shouted. After all, Bing Crosby never crooned anything about hand turkeys cut out of construction paper. The idea of Crosby in a pilgrim hat is simply ludicrous!
And these aren’t strictly bad reasons, either. I took them at face value for decades. I digested the Christmas Music Ban and I passed it on to my own family: my wife, my kids — NO CHRISTMAS MUSIC until the last gobbler gobbles its last. This is the rule. This doesn’t even need reasons, it is a first principle.
This was all fine for years. YEARS. My children obediently changing the radio stations when they heard the slightest whiff of sleigh bells (this is not true, they barely know radio exists and I am not a monster).
Then it dawned on me: a mind-shattering realization of a magnitude not felt since 1610 anno Domini when Galileo himself gazed across the heavens at the moons of Jupiter dancing round the celestial giant like maidens round a maypole — I am positive he would not have passed up the opportunity for a good pun — “by Jove, perhaps the heavens do not revolve about the Earth!”
Friends: have you realized. That in Whoville. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all!
What I realized this past Thanksgiving is that the ban I passed on to my family was due not to reason but to dogma.
I announced loudly, in the presence of family and friends; to my wife and children (apologetically), on Thanksgiving Day: “The Ban is lifted! What a fool I’ve been! Listen to Christmas music whenever you please! Turn it on right now!”
I was Ebenezer Scrooge, waking to the sun on Thanksgiving morn’. I called out the window to a boy on the street:
“Hallo, my fine fellow!”
“Hallo!” returned the boy.
“Do you know the Poulterer’s in the next street but one, at the corner?” [I] inquired.
“I should hope I did,” replied the lad.
“An intelligent boy!” said [I]. “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there? — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?”
“What! the one as big as me?” returned the boy.
“What a delightful boy!”[, I exclaimed]. “It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!”
“It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy.
“Is it?”[, I said]. “Go and buy it.”
“Walk-ER!” exclaimed the boy.
“No, no, … I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell ’em to bring it here, that I may give them the directions where to take it. Come back with the man, and I’ll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes, and I’ll give you half-a-crown!”
The boy ran from my window and never came back, so I kept my half a crown, and since we already had a turkey it was no great loss (though my clerk was quite confused why I showed up on his doorstep, empty-handed, to interrupt his family dinner).