Posted by: deadmousediaries | December 1, 2017

The Forgotten Holiday – Extra Mayo

People have started calling it the Forgotten Holiday. I agree. Thanksgiving is suffering from an identity crisis. Still, it is my favorite holiday because it has all the best components: family, food, gratitude and naps. Folks tend to linger at the table longer and have real conversation at Thanksgiving when the meal is the centerpiece of the day. That holds true even though a stopwatch could capture the time that elapses between finishing the dishes and hearing the first fridge raider slapping a sandwich together. Nothing beats cold turkey slathered with mayo if you’re preparing to watch a little football with your eyes closed, a trick I learned from my husband.

Yes, I choose to honor Thanksgiving. I pledge to protect it from the hub-bub and overshadowing events that are soon to follow. Those events are, of course, Black Friday and the first day of deer season.

Now that retailers are promoting Christmas before Halloween and tempting shoppers with pre-pre- holiday shopping discounts, we apparently needed something more for Black Friday. As a result, our annual day of thankfulness now includes a new blessing: malls and superstores open at midnight. We no longer have to get up at 3:00 am to satiate our need to get the best and newest at the cheapest price of the season; we can just stay up after our tryptophan-induced nap on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m proud to say I’ll be out there on Black Friday. If I have an objective, I like earning my stripes by standing in line. I hum Christmas carols and clutch my prize, knowing my status will soon read: mission accomplished. I realized long ago that shopping is a competitive sport. It’s no small feat to be able to combine an early bird special with a coupon on top of a preferred customer discount but after that first trophy, I’m out purely for the entertainment value. It’s nice to get caught up in the official start of the season but better yet to pause for some hot chocolate and watch the crazies as you let the Christmas rush rush past you.

At the end of the day, Black Friday night signals the start of some family traditions. We slap together some big turkey sandwiches and pop in a movie that we watch only once a year, a reserve for just that occasion. As a kid, I found the less-is-more concept hard to grasp but it is a secret my parents passed on to me and it’s one of the keys to Christmas magic. And Black Friday night sleep is the best. After the wee-hours shopping, the leftover carbs and a movie, it takes no time at all to go comatose. If Santa came on Black Friday night, he could crash through the roof and no one would ever hear him.

Saturday is a nice catch-up day with time to send some Christmas cards and maybe wrap a few gifts. To jazz up my day, I like to play a little game with myself called “What’s in here?” because I never put tags on my gifts when I wrap them. It’s impossible for me to think that after all the love and care I’ve taken in selecting and wrapping each special item that I won’t remember which one is which. But without fail by the end of the day, I don’t. I realize now that just adds to the anticipation of Christmas morning; at least I can surprise myself.

By the Sunday after Thanksgiving, a new frenzy begins in anticipation of the first day of deer season. The divorce rate among socks and gloves must surely be the highest at the end of deer season so each partner must be found and reunited with its mate. Other outdoor clothing that fit a year ago sometimes shrinks during those long dark months in the closet and may require alterations –or the scramble for a giant safety pin. The house smells of Hoppes and damp leaves as the hunters traipse through after sighting in their rifles.

Alarms are set for zero dark-thirty,  hours before dawn in a trend that rivals early shoppers. A lot of clinking, zipping and stomping will ensue as yet another round of turkey sandwiches gets slapped together and pushed down into a jacket pocket that last month held dead squirrels. A steady line of headlights outlines the caravan on its annual pilgrimage, a drive to the perfect hunting spot. Hunters to the east are heading west; hunters in the west are heading east to ensure balance in the universe.

Wherever you roam, nap, shop, haggle or hunt in the days ahead, remember it all begins with Thanksgiving. Celebrate the day to relax, slow down and enjoy your family. Make time to count your blessings but don’t forget the mayo. It’s a critical component of the next two holidays!



  1. I really need to learn your knack for being that organized on that first weekend of the holiday season. It all sounds so easy when you describe it, but it remains elusive to me. I am the one who is still wrapping presents, filling stockings, and maybe even trying to prepare a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning at 3 or 4 a.m. on . . . “Christmas Eve?” And, the last few years, I’ve been lucky to have decorations up by Christmas Eve. Power on! And, Merry Christmas! See ya soon!

  2. Hello my lady!! I’m behind on my email and I can see I am behind on your stories. I was so excited to see your emails pop up on my screen. Best wishes!!

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