Richard Connor: Obsessing on the season – and loving it

It has almost become trite to grouse about the commercialism of the holidays. Put a lid on it, I say.

I love everything about the holidays.

No one forces you to drink too much or overeat on Thanksgiving and then charge out to be among the hordes of shoppers on Black Friday, when trying to get into the stores is more dangerous than running with the bulls in Pamplona.

Enjoy it all. Be festive.

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Mostly, I hope everyone actually took some time to be thankful and grateful on Thanksgiving Day and that they’ll continue the good cheer through the season. It takes just as much energy to be positive as negative. Someone else came up with that one but I love it.

I’m so enthused this year that I’m thinking of buying a couple of those inflatable and gaudy Christmas decorations. You know, the really big ones that dwarf your house and are so cheesy they aren’t. They’re fun. My 17-year-old daughter does not agree and is threatening to leave for the holidays if I follow through with my threat to populate the front yard with them.

She likes authenticity.

That’s why when I announced I was buying all the fixings for Thanksgiving from a grocery store and already prepared she balked.

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“You’re cooking,” she said.

She is reserved and contained in regard to my cooking. When things are not just right she shows the diplomacy that so many politicians lack.

“For future reference…,” she begins when my kitchen results do not quite match her discerning palate.

Cook I did, if only to use as a bargaining chip for the large inflatable sleigh and reindeer. I do not believe she has caught on to my connivance.

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Setting her up for the garish holiday decorations I give her subtle hints. Compromise, I tell her. Life is about compromise. I leave out the advice about moderation.

That’s because there is no excuse for moderation of spirit at this time of year.

Truth is, we can be grateful every day and should stop to acknowledge our thanks every day. The list of good things we all share in common is vast. Friends. Family. Jobs. Health. Music. Art. Pets. People you love and who love you back. All of nature. The freedom of this country. None of them costs a dime.

Here’s more: Each day that breaks with the sun shining somewhere and each night that falls with the moon aglow – somewhere.

I could go on and on and so could you, if you want to look at life this way. What’s the choice, really?

There is abundance out there and all you have to do is look for it. Life is great. If you are down or need help there are people everywhere who truly care. If you do not find them they will find you. Trust me. Be truly thankful.

There is much to love and good things to anticipate.

Things such as a large inflatable Santa for the front lawn.

I’ve been accused of being obsessive and compulsive.

’Tis the season.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at