The Thanksgiving air seems filled with angels taking uninvited seats upon shoulders, angels whispering "remember, only one scoop of mashed potatoes," "you probably don't need all that gravy," "don't forget, just a tiny sliver of pumpkin pie, skip the whipped cream." And right after those angels, having done their worst, flutter off, another set flutters in and begins a whispering campaign to convince you that Christmas isn't about presents. You should rebel against buy, buy, buy. Your relatives - even your children - will be so much happier with gifts given to the poor in their name. It's what Christmas is all about. You should boycott those awful tree farms, where trees are likely raised in tiny boxes - oh, wait - that's another issue.
I'm not even opening the can of worms that includes Native Americans and The Religious Right.
Instead, I am the devil on the other shoulder telling you it's okay. Temperance is for daily use, not for holidays. Screw the diet. Pile on the gravy. Eat more pie. Decorate a tree. Brave the mall. Buy something for your nearest and dearest. Get something you know they will like. Wrap it up and put a bow on it. Buy a flock of chickens for Heifer too. In your own name. Because you want to.
In fact, do everything you do for these High Holy Days - and all of the other High Holy Days that come with your cultural calendar year - do it all because you want to. Eat because there is such joy in eating. Give because there is such joy in giving. Receive because half the joy of receiving is the joy of the giver. Deck the halls and string the lights.
There are so many worthy days in the year to be soberly temperate. The High Holy Days are for intemperate joy.