For a great many people, the day after Thanksgiving falls like the hammer on a starter's pistol. Game on! Even if you've started shopping for Christmas gifts, the real race to prepare has begun. As I drove home from my sister-in-law's feast of leftovers on Friday evening I quietly noticed how many of the houses lining the streets were already adorned with festive lights. Here and there I was able to catch a glimpse of an evergreen tree through a front window, but I didn't say anything. Shhh. I'm not drawing attention to any of this. Nope, not risking rousing the attentions of the children lolling in their turkey-based comas in the seats behind me.
But it only takes once. One joker in an SUV blowing past us in the fast lane with a seven-footer bound to the roof to destroy the peace.
"AAARGHHH!" comes the bellow from the back seat, "We can't start celebrating Christmas until after my birthday, people!"
And we won't. No tree. No doors on the advent calendar will be pried open to spy the treasures beneath. Not a single box of ornaments or holiday decorations hauled downstairs from the attic. We are not allowed. Not until the day after each and every gift has been unwrapped, the birthday paper recycled, the ribbons hung on the bedposts are we free to think about what happens on December 25th.
For now, we must forget that there are 24 days until the big day. Nope, for our family, the only upcoming holiday that registers on our radar is the one that is racing our way like a runaway train. This weekend we will celebrate the most important day in December - the day our oldest daughter, our first child, our drama queen was born. We are allowed to eat leftover birthday cake as we decorate our tree the day after her birthday. We are allowed to begin counting down to Christmas Day the day after her birthday. Then and only then is Bubba allowed to climb the ladder and hang the lights from our eaves. Until then, just hold your horses, Bub.