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The Incredible Invisible Holiday

By: Cheri Thacker

“Back off Fat Man.  I still get my holiday!”  That’s what Chief said to me the other day when he caught me singing Christmas tunes while cleaning the house like my ex in-laws were coming for a critique session.  I began vocalizing the melodious sounds of the holidays because the television was on and just as fast as the ghosts, ghouls and goblins slip back into the dark world after Halloween, Santa appears driving his red hot Mercedes.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Clause works herself into a stew because he gets all the credit while she does all the list-checking, organizes the toy production schedule, and lets the seam out of those doggone red velvet pants for yet another year!

Anyway, Chief is right—and he will probably buy enough copies of this publication to send to his college fraternity buddies and his high school graduating class simply because I admitted it.  For once.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about some Merry Christmas making but not at the expense of my annual tryptophan-induced turkey coma, or heaping helping of Charlene’s Sweet Potato casserole.  I have no idea who Charlene is, but I found her recipe online years ago when Al Gore first made the internet available and it’s been my signature Thanksgiving dish ever since.  Even the year I flipped it upside down on the kitchen rug and just as quickly whipped it back over, scooped off the marshmallow crème, applied a new layer, and saved the holiday.  Of course, if anyone in my family reads my column they might pass on the sweet potatoes this year, thereby greatly upsetting Charlene.

You’d think the crumb snatchers would rush Turkey day, anxious to recite their wish-list in between taking bites of pumpkin pie and tossing that weird green jello-mold stuff on their cousins, in hopes that we’ll rush out after dinner to the Black Friday sales that now start on Thursday to scoop up their Christmas goodies.  But not my crumb snatchers.

I’m truly blessed to have a house full of teenagers, and their friends, because what holiday better suits a teen crumb snatcher than one where you empty the panty and make every conceivable dish known to man and Old Aunt Gertrude—who just might possibly be responsible for the green jello-mold stuff but we still aren’t sure?

The youth around our house all put in their notices of work unavailability back in July since they work in retail establishments that are open some portion of this annual turkey and football holiday.  Even Aunt Neicee went to the mat with her employer arguing that it was the one day a year that she’d have to come to work sans pants if they want her.  They gave her Thursday AND Friday off.

So retailers might blast the Christmas music at 12:01 am November 1, advertising companies might pimp Santa every 30 seconds for two months, and big box stores might open their doors to the madness a day earlier, but around our house some turkey gets his homage every year.  Meanwhile, I think I’ll shoot Mrs. Clause an email and tell her to try an elastic waist band in the Jolly Old Elf’s pants.

Cheri Thacker is a Bartlett mom and freelance writer.  She can be reached at

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