Here we go! By the time you read this, your Thanksgiving dishes will be washed, and maybe even be put away, you overachiever, and you’ll be subsisting on turkey sandwiches and turkey soup, and hopefully, eating pie for breakfast, because, seriously, you can’t let it go to waste.

Did you go out after dinner for Black Friday Apocalypse at WalMart? I didn’t. But, I know people who do. I just can’t, for the life of me, imagine being able to get up off of the couch after Thanksgiving dinner to drive to town and engage in mortal combat over a flat screen TV. But, what do I know? Maybe I should check it out sometime. I hear there are great deals on bed sheets and Keurig coffeemakers and such, and there I am, at home, percolating in L-tryptophan, looking at Facebook in my PajamaJeans, trying to muster the energy to go to the kitchen and get another slice of pumpkin pie.

After Black Friday, the countdown’s on – just 28 shopping days till Christmas. This is the time of year I think I really should have started that Christmas Club account at the bank, because I have to figure out how to pay my bills and acquire gifts for everyone I know.

Last summer, I had fantasized that my family and I would ditch the traditional Christmas holiday and head south to Mexico. All I needed to do was save $200 a week, and we’d spend Christmas at an all-inclusive resort on the Mexican Riviera. Well, obviously, that never happened. Unless my husband has saved up $3,000 in quarters, nickels and dimes in the jar on his dresser, it looks like it’s just another West Virginia Christmas for the Mansheims. Oh well, maybe next year.

Last year, in an attempt to be thrifty, I declared that no one over the age of 18 was getting a gift. What a terrible idea that was! It was such a drag to not have gifts to hand out to my adult family members on Christmas morning – I seriously felt like The Grinch. So, this year, it’s on like Donkey Kong – gifts for everyone! My boss, my coworkers, my family, my kids, my friends. Everybody better watch out, because I’ve got a list and I’m checking it twice!

Oh, and the parties! Work parties, cocktail parties, Christmas Eve parties, eggnog, champagne, whiskey and wine. Prime rib, Chex mix, brie and crackers. Candied nuts and chocolates and cheesecake and those huge tins of popcorn.

Of course, every party requires a dress, which reminds me, WHY DO THEY MAKE HOLIDAY PARTY DRESSES SLEEVELESS?! It’s cold! If we weren’t so drunk on wine, we ladies would feel pretty silly wearing turtlenecks underneath our sparkly party dresses and stockings under our open toed shoes. It’s ridiculous. Oh, and high heels on an icy driveway while tottering into the party, laden with gifts? Oh yeah, good times.

Now, I know the more practical among you are tut-tutting, wondering why I don’t just pull on my sturdy snow boots and a fleece jacket like a normal West Virginian, and my answer is, well, I don’t want to! I just think it shouldn’t be so hard to find a long-sleeve party dress and a pair of heels with a lug sole.

Anyway, I’m getting pretty amped up about the season. We’ve got a wreath on the front door, and if I’m lucky, my tree will be up by the time you read this. As for those Thanksgiving dishes being washed and put away? Well, we’ll see.

So, strap a pair of reindeer antlers on to your SUV, blast those Christmas carols as you roll down the street, and try not to kill anyone while you’re Christmas shopping. Eat all the treats, and drink all the drinks. Send out your cards and, by golly, if you’re invited to a party, by all means, go! January will be here before you know it, and the snow will be piled up on the patio; school will be cancelled and the plow trucks won’t hit your road for three days. You can rest then, I promise.

Now, go get a piece of pie.


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