We kicked off the holiday season as we do every year, with "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." And again, we watched Lucy set poor Chuck up for a fall.
Lucy: Come on, Charlie Brown. I'll hold the ball and you kick it.
Charlie Brown: Hold it? Ha! You'll pull it away and I'll land flat on my back and kill myself.
Lucy: But Charlie Brown, it's Thanksgiving.
Charlie Brown: What's that got to do with it?
Lucy: Well, one of the greatest traditions we have is the Thanksgiving Day football game. And the biggest, most important tradition of all is football.
I can't help thinking that he's doing what we all do. Thinking this year will be different. This holiday I'll shop faster, wrap quicker, bake sweeter. It will be the best Christmas ever. It will be perfect.
Charlie Brown: Maybe I should do it. Besides, she wouldn't try to trick me on a traditional holiday. This time I'm gonna kick that football clear to the moon!
[He runs to kick the ball, but Lucy pulls it away.]
Charlie Brown: Argh!
[He falls flat on his back.]
He never learns - and neither do I. This year I was going to be ready early - have everything up and decorated by Dec. 1. But four of my window candles don't work. And I've been to two stores looking for new ones and still can't find them. The holiday mugs are broken, and only half of my front door wreath lights up. I didn't notice it until my son said it's so cool our wreath lights up our last initial, "C".
So since it isn't coming together for me, I thought I'd have some fun with somebody else. I start calling up girlfriends:
"Merry Christmas - you got your tree up and your gifts wrapped?"
I don't know, it gives me some cheap little thrill to hear them screech, and then go on about how they're so behind, hadn't done a thing, don't even know where to start, etc.
Well this year, nobody's gonna set me up to fail. Window candles don't work? Fine - red bows on lamp posts instead. Holiday mugs are making their way onto the bargain table, just picked up 6 for 50 cents a pop. And the whole neighborhood is going to be Googling "personalized pre-lit wreaths," I can promise you that.
I'll do it, when I do it. I'll get to it, when I get to it. It won't be the best ever, and it won't be perfect. But it will be awesome, because I won't miss "White Christmas" racing around to 10 grocery stores trying to find the tiny red, white and green Christmas marshmallows, for the cocoa that we have to have every year.
Lucy leaves Charlie Brown with a final thought: Isn't it peculiar, Charlie Brown, how some traditions just slowly fade away?
Why, yes it is, Lucy. And sometimes, that's a good thing.