Dear Mayor Alcombright,
Congratulations on your recent re-election. I am sure you at least partially attribute your victory to your slogan, "Together We Move Forward." Admittedly, when it came to our clocks just the other week, together we moved backward. And while I appreciate the free hour, I've already spent it, and hope the new administration might budget us more free hours, ideally at least one per week, so it can be like a weekly stipend. Or is that an hourly stipend?
But I digress. As we head into winter, it's time to think about the thing that we can all share with our families and friends and experience together. You might naturally presume I mean getting sick, which I have certainly done recently. When an animal is sick you might shoot it in the Wild West, but here in the Tame East we just take shots of chicken soup and tough it out, because the real thing that keeps us afloat during winter is Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a non-denominational holiday with a message that everyone can get behind, and I don't just mean being thankful for what we have. I mean that we should all sit down at a giant dinner table and eat until we are about to collapse. And then have seconds. The cornucopia symbolizes a giant open stomach filled with food, and we owe it to our ancestors to stuff our own stomachs in homage, because eating is what America is all about.
Now for many years, we have heard nonsense about the "War on Christmas" from Fox News, a preposterous notion because Christmas not only remains securely entrenched at Dec. 25, but extends its tinseled tentacles for an entire month backwards, filling the American landscape with Christmas music, decorations, and more green and red than a traffic light convention. There is no war on Christmas.
There is, however, a war on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not asking for an entire month. Thanksgiving wants to shine for those few days surrounding the fourth Thursday of November, but that has been under assault from Christmas for years. The thankfulness on the day after Thanksgiving has been cut short by "Black Friday", where we give up on appreciating what we have in favor of literally trampling people to death in our rush to buy Christmas presents on sale. And then the Christmas sales moved earlier. And earlier. And suddenly the Christmas sales were happening on Thanksgiving day.
Now I'm not suggesting that you, Mayor Alcombright, are somehow responsible for this, nor do I think that you ought to stand in the way of capitalism and free commerce. That is neither your fault nor your responsibility.
But here's what is:
The City of North Adams is scheduled to have a gigantic Christmas Tree Lighting in a big celebration where people show up, hear Christmas music, see Santa Claus, and get candy canes, on November 25.
ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!
You are making it city policy to skip Thanksgiving and replace it with more Christmas. And I urge you to stop. Move the Christmas celebrations to December, where they belong. And if you must have a public celebration on November 25th, then let's gather around a giant cornucopia, and let Squanto Claus come and hand out stuffing and cranberry sauce to all the kids.
The War on Thanksgiving has gone on long enough. Let's move forward — together.