The Most Imposing Holiday

I love Thanksgiving; it’s one of my favorite holidays. But Thanksgiving is under direct attack, and as a champion of stuffing, gravy, and holidays of debatable historical origins, I must come to Thanksgiving’s defense.

This the week of Thanksgiving should be Thanksgiving’s week, but it’s become overshadowed — more and more, every year — by a massive, monstrous winter holiday.

I am speaking, of course, about Boxing Day.

You’ve heard it too, I’m sure. Entire radio stations have already switched over to playing nothing but Boxing Day music 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, I normally love that festive, cheery music replete with Boxing Day messages about redeeming gift cards and returning poorly targeted holiday gifts. But not during the week of Thanksgiving! My turkey’s still in the freezer!

If it were just the music, and just this week, maybe I could handle it. But not one day after Halloween, I watched as my neighbors emptied their front lawn of bloodstained skeletons and gravestones only to replace them with Amazon delivery boxes and festive gift receipt streamers. Nearly half the houses on my street already sport the traditional Boxing Day decorations of burned-out strings of lights that hang haphazardly from their gutters.

The ones who really suffer are our children. It was around this time every year that me and my siblings would all crowd around the TV and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. But this year my kids are already being bombarded by dozens of stop-motion Boxing Day specials about the true meaning of Boxing Day. My three-year-old daughter had wrapped up my chromebook to give to the poor, and I had to swat it from her grasp, send her to her room, and lovingly explain that it’s not time for Boxing Day traditions yet, no matter what she’s seen on TikTok.

Families should be spending this time of year talking about the first Thanksgiving, when Indians passed the corn and the very first ethanol subsidies were invented. If this were a normal Thanksgiving season, there’d already be three-hundred-and-twelve thoughtpieces on “How to talk to your bigoted family about gun control during Thanksgiving,” or “Why America has nothing to be grateful for this year,” or “How Indians could have used Wisconsin’s self-defense laws during the first Thanksgiving.” Instead, the pundits have moved straight to “The condescending, colonialist origins of Boxing Day” and “Why I’m exchanging my American citizenship this Boxing Day for a tire pressure gage.”

It’s come to the point where I almost dread the actual day of Thanksgiving, because I know that Boxing Day won’t even allow us that space. I’d love to spend the morning appreciating the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, but that will just distract from the fact that the traditional Boxing Day container ship procession has been lined up outside of the Port of Long Beach for months already.

Thanksgiving dinner should be full of conversations about tryptophan, and Uncle Fred’s remarkably consistent opinions on what’s really plaguing our country. Instead, everyone will be talking about the deals. Yes, that’s right–the Boxing Day deals. My mailbox is already stuffed with advertisements on the historic deals we can get on Boxing Day, on the rebates and discounts and return-two-gifts-and-get-one-free deals. I could be talking about coronavirus policy with my family, but instead we’re trying to strategize how best to take advantage of the one-day Boxing Day bonus credit applied to the gift cards we’ll eventually get. Just let us be, Boxing Day! Let me argue politics with my extended family in peace!

Eventually Boxing Day is going to subsume so much of the Thanksgiving season that we won’t even be talking just about that year’s Boxing Day, but the following one as well. We’ll be celebrating multiple Boxing Days at the same time before we can eat a single mouthful of stuffing. We’ll be gearing up to return gifts of items that haven’t even been invented yet.

But for now, it’s time I ended this; there’s someone at the door. Wait, what’s the festive noise? Is that… is that singing?

Oh, no.

The Boxing Day carolers.

They’ve found me.

This article first appeared in the Duzett Gazette, the really official newsletter of Carl Duzett. Sign up here to get more content like this in your inbox, as well as some other content that isn’t quite like it, but is probably also good.

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