Thanksgiving is over. Now what? - Mike Davis

When I realized the holidays were here, relentlessly slapping us in the face, it was already too late. I didn't quite grasp the magnitude of the end of the year. I didn't understand how fast it can all fall into your lap, look up crying and ask for more.

There are a lot of things to do before the year wraps up. After all, there are gifts to buy, friends to meet, books to read, movies to watch and vacations to take.

How could the year be almost over and I didn't even notice? Now, I suppose, the huddled masses will be taking themselves to the mall to buy the latest and greatest new gadget from the novelty gift shop (maybe a remote-controlled tie rack or that clock that flashes the time but the numbers appear to be floating above) that your friends and family will just have to have.

Now that the feast is over, be thankful that we can still go to the mall. Be thankful that there was enough food to eat.

After Thanksgiving dinner, my uncle mentioned that he had read a sign on a bulletin board somewhere that said, Don't complain about the dirty; at least you had food to dirty them with (I'm paraphrasing).

There are a lot of people out there without enough to eat. A crowd of thousands gathered in downtown Atlanta for the Hosea Feed the Hungry dinner Thursday and I'm sure each and every one of them wished they were in the position to have to worry about which new video game to buy for their children or what to get their secret Santa partner at work. But they're not.

They have to worry about where they're going to eat today?after all of the food has been served and all the mess cleaned up.

As the holidays come around, there generally seems to be a more jovial hint to the air. People are a little more laid back and only really start worrying when Christmas Eve comes around and they've forgotten to buy something for their wife.

I'm glad to see that. I'm also glad to see the shopping season with a full head of steam. Economic forecasters have been predicting a marked increase in consumerism and holiday spending. A return to the mall could signal the return of a strong economy.

But we can't be lazy about it. If we're going to do this righteously, we've got to fork over the green.

Those vacations and books and movies you've got to watch and people you've got to meet?that's not just a to-do list that I'd like to see done before the year closes. Those are things that will keep the country growing. Those are the things that will provide jobs for us to work and food to put on our plate for years to come.

We are not on cruise-control yet so get off the couch and get your butt to the mall.

Michael Davis is the public safety reporter for the Daily herald. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at henryherald.com.