|One of the littles when he was very little, building a gingerbread train|
Thanksgiving: fourth Thursday of November and YES!! Bingo! This is a holiday, people! Totally bona fide. A harvest festival. All about it. Eat, drink, and give thanks. We had a great feast yesterday. I didn't even need dinner last night. YUM!
Black Friday: NO. This is not a holiday. I know it's hard to believe it, since it is heralded with more fanfare than Thanksgiving, but it's true. It's a Madison Avenue manufactured event. It annoys me that it even has a name. I know you may feel like you deserve a treat because you did battle for that Darth Vader Pez dispenser and had to wait in line for an hour at Kohl's, but it's still not a holiday. You're probably hungry and tired, though, so just have leftovers from yesterday.
Cyber Monday: Lord, have mercy. This is even less of a holiday than Black Friday. And you don't deserve any treats because you didn't even have to walk around to do your shopping. You planted your bottom on a chair and pressed buttons. No treats. Sorry.
December 1st. Well, this is the first day of Advent. This is a beautiful time of reflection and thinking about Jesus being the reason for the season, etc. If it helps you to think about Jesus, then go ahead and have a square of chocolate everyday for the next twenty-four days. If it becomes a little too habit-forming, don't worry. Lent is right around the corner!
December 6th: This is the feast of St. Nicholas, aka 'Santa Claus.'If you grew up calling your grandfather 'Opa' then this is a big deal for you. Enjoy that orange in your shoe!
December 8th: Nope. No holiday. It's just Tuesday. Put down the cookie.
December 6th-14th: This is Hanukkah. I'm not Jewish so I'm not really clear on how much treats factor into Hanukkah, except for the gelt, which is chocolate shaped into coins with gold foil wrappers. Personally, I have never had chocolate coins that were worth eating. They are never made from good quality chocolate, so I'd give it a pass. I mean, if you're going to have treats, have the good stuff, right?
December 14th: I'm going to rant for a second:
THIS IS NOT THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS! OH MY GOOD GRIEF. Every year some marketer tries to sell us stuff--literally--for the twelve days preceding Christmas day. DON'T BUY IT. I mean, seriously--don't buy it.
Lord knows I love America as much as the next daughter of a veteran, but I really, really despise how American marketers will try to make a buying opportunity out of every cotton pickin' thing they can. In this case, it is SIMPLY WRONG. The Twelve Days of Christmas start on CHRISTMAS. They end on Twelfth Night--January 5th. I'll get to that later, but please, do not think that the 14th is a holiday because it ISN'T. It's just marketing. Grrr!
December 24th: Ding ding ding! Yes! Holiday fer shur!! Bottoms up!
December 25th: WHOA! HOLIDAY!!! Holy-day! Which is where the word 'holiday' comes from, you know. Eat, drink, be merry, etc.
December 26th: Boxing Day. If you're from a commonwealth nation, yay! Totally qualifies as a holiday. For the rest of us it means going out to buy wrapping paper at 50% off.
December 26th-January 1st: This is Kwanzaa. I actually didn't realize this was a multi-day event. I also didn't realize it was invented in 1966. Kind of makes me wonder, how many people actually grew up celebrating Kwanzaa? I don't know, is this is a holiday? If you are of African decent, please write and tell me what you eat. I thought Kwanzaa might have involved jumping over brooms, which sounds like a nice activity after all the eating at Christmas, but apparently that's just at weddings.
December 31st: New Year's Eve. Holiday. I'll be tucked in by 9.30 in my fuzzy blue robe, but if you're a fan, this definitely qualifies.
January 1st: New Year's Day. Win!! Enjoy a nice brunch rich in vitamin G.
January 5th: As previously mentioned, this is Twelfth Night. You can party it up. Definitely. Especially if you managed to find a yule log that actually burned for twelve days.
January 6th: The Feast of Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. This is a holiday, especially if you call your grandfather 'abuelo,' Spanish kids actually get their presents on January 6th. The Three Kings bring them. There is a traditional cake for Epiphany made in France called a 'galette des rois.' It's yummy flaky pastry with an almond paste filling. If you can find one, enjoy!
After that, the party's over. Yes, there are a lot of holidays in this brief period, but really--unless you're a Jewish Scandinavian Christian Spanish African, you're probably not hitting everything on this list. Then again, maybe you are? In which case, you are indeed an American! Just don't call December 14th the first day of Christmas, ok?