Halloween is two days away and I am anxiously awaiting the costumes, parties and good spirits that comes from neighbors and family inviting you in for a meal and some candy. It is without a doubt my favorite holiday, for many reasons. First being that it is centered around fun, and fun only. There are no obligations, gifts to be bought, or traditions to recognize, (at least not for my family). It is completely open to change and customizable at will, every year. This is huge for me because I come from a large family and there is always something to show up for!
Still, there is something that nags at me when the cidar flows and the candy pile builds as hallows eve approaches every year. I think it bothers a lot of us. You recognize it when the stores seem to skimp over the holiday. With a small aisle dedicated to the harvest celebration, while the rest of the seasonal section jumps straight to Christmas. There’s always a friend or two who runs around proclaiming “Christmas is in 70 days!!” with a devilish grin on their face, as though they’re the only one who knew that. As though the largest holiday of the year had changed it’s date and you were the last to find out. We know! We know it’s coming, but we don’t care, because Halloween is coming first, then Thanksgiving. Do you understand how that works Carol?
If I am completely honest I have let it bother me year after year, the dread building up as I let my mind wander to all the things that have to be done for that one day. Not this year though, I have made my peace in the decision to restructure my holiday. It’s pretty easy because all that it is really, is a mind switch, and possibly trying your hardest to avoid the seasonal aisle. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, it will help keep you from purchasing unnecessary decorations and junk you probably don’t need.
In years past as soon as Halloween was over I would go throughout my home packing up my orange, black and purple decorations. In exchange for red, white and green ones, trying to stay on top of the season and what had to be done next. This change is long overdue for me, especially when 3 weeks ago at the beginning of October, I had a friend who jumped on social media to brag about how she’d already put up her Christmas tree. At first, I threw a little mental tantrum. Did she have no respect for our American calendar?!
Then I realized that if my friend can restructure their holiday to force the pressure of a commercial holiday on herself way too early, then I can do the opposite. Please don’t get me wrong, I do have a great love for Christmas. There’s no war on Christmas here! I do have a special place in my heart for it. It’s just that somewhere along the way, our culture turned directly to Christmas after the Halloween celebration was over, even though it’s months out. This causes time to speed up instead of slow down.
So, I’m going to attempt to slow it down. I will leave my harvest decorations in place. With the orange, black. and purple colors to remind me to enjoy the now. I will also participate in a time-honored tradition from my culture, Dia de Los Muertos, while preparing for a month of giving thanks in November. I know you’re thinking, “wait, what? this woman wants us to leave our decorations in place and not start making things from scratch the day after Halloween?!”
Well sort of. I’m all about planning, so…
Here’s a list of five ways that you can put Christmas in the time frame it belongs:
- Put all the things that you need to get done for your holiday down on paper, then commit them to schedule. Baking, gift making, wrapping, shopping, and family traditions. Preferably after December 1st.
- Instead of shopping early, try saving up the funds you intend to spend on gifts and shop closer to the holiday. This can help deter overspending when you have a set amount that you use to shop, instead of picking up a gift here and there which can add up. Trust me when I say Black Friday isn’t a thing anymore. With the internet, you can get incredible sales all the time.
- Have non-holiday related fun with your friends who typically fall to the wayside during the season, and ensure that it is not Christmas themed. Not everyone has a busy holiday schedule and they probably miss you, maybe even miss you. It’s not always happy for everyone.
- Pick up some extra pumpkins on super sale after the holiday and try crazy carvings you didn’t get a chance to before. Maybe a sugar skull theme or even a turkey. Stock up on those sale decorations for next year’s haunted house while you’re at it!
- Shopping online is such a time saver. Even if you can’t resist the temptation to shop early, you can always go online and add things to your cart for later. If you do really want to purchase early I won’t knock ya for it, but know that it can cause that stress to kick in early.
Lastly, remind yourself that Christmas is one day. Sure, there are plenty of events surrounding this one day and it can get busy and overwhelming, but there’s no need to let them overtake two or even three months of your time. Enjoy the pumpkin spice, the pumpkin pie and experimenting with new recipes. It’s your holiday and you can structure it however you’d like. Yes, even if you decide to put your tree up in October.
I wish you plenty of ink my friends, and in this case pumpkins too!