published Monday, November 25th, 2013

Get Off The Couch: Like usual, Santa's about to overtake the turkey

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I'm thinking this might be the week I put away the smiling pumpkins and the bite-size candy treats and start thinking about Thanksgiving. That means, of course, that a short time after, it will be time to think about Christmas. I know, I'm old-fashioned that way.

Seriously, the holiday season begins in earnest this week with parades, sales, concerts, sales, caroling and sales.

LISA DENTON: Well, the sales are so you can walk around the mall and work the turkey off your thighs. Of course, you can always get your exercise in before you sit down at the table. There are now three fundraiser 5Ks/walks on Thanksgiving morning.

Besides the Grateful Gobbler Walk for the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition at Coolidge Park and the Turkey Trot for the Kidney Foundation at Sports Barn East, there's a new one at Chester Frost Park called the Stuffing Strut.

Thanksgiving does seem to be the forgotten holiday, though, with so much Christmas stuff already started.

BARRY: I like Thanksgiving. It's more relaxing. We will play our annual football game, which means terrible pain and soreness for me for several days, then spend the rest of the time hanging out with family, which is the best part. ...

Nah, it's about the food and the eating.

For a lot of Chattanoogans, the Christmas season really kicks off Friday with the Lighted Boat Parade, and something new to the event is Chattanooga's Gifts That Give Hope fair. There will be music, food and drink and, while you can see the boats from either side of the river, most of the activity will take place at Coolidge Park.

LISA: The gift fair is actually one of a national network of such events designed to acquaint shoppers with nonprofit organizations. You can actually start your shopping now at www.giftsthatgivehope.org/chattanooga. There are 28 choices, like $10 to Volunteers in Medicine to buy antibiotics for a patient in need or $100 to Northside Neighborhood House to pay for a GED test. It's an all-ages list of needs, and there will be a kids shopping list available at the fair.

BARRY: I think the idea is that you make a donation to a charity in someone else's name and you are a given a card to present to that person. That's kinda cool. The evening also kind of kicks off the real season's parades, train rides, gingerbread workshops and other Christmas-themed events scheduled almost every weekend until the fat man gets here.

If you want to do something fun that doesn't involve holly, caroling or tinsel, D.L. Hughley returns to The Comedy Catch this weekend. He has a show that airs locally on WMPZ, and he hosts the new "Trust Me, I'm A Game Show Host" on TBS. I've always thought he was funny and I have respect for guys that remember their roots after blowing up and still do the clubs that helped get them to the top.

LISA: I like D.L. The only time he hasn't made me laugh was when he was on "Dancing With the Stars." And that was just sad.

Get event updates every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at www.ChattanoogaNow.com.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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