Today is the second day of October. The second day of a perfectly lovely month, which comes complete with a very nice little minor holiday of its own called Halloween. As of this writing, there are 83 days left until Christmas. There’s even another, bigger holiday that falls in between Halloween and Christmas — Thanksgiving.
Both Halloween and Thanksgiving have their own traditions and decorations, yes? So why in heaven’s name did a friend post a picture on her Facebook page today a picture of a business in her town that features a fully decorated Christmas tree?
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas and all the trappings. My wife and I start putting up decorations and outdoor lights the day after Thanksgiving, and they stay up until her birthday — in mid-January. But I believe in giving every holiday its due. And in this case, Halloween is rapidly becoming an endangered species.
We’ve already lost the battle for Thanksgiving. The vast majority of retailers now decorate for Christmas no later than Halloween. Thanksgiving becomes nothing more than a speed bump on the expressway to Black Friday. Who cares about gathering with family and friends to celebrate our blessings when we could be standing in line outside Best Buy or Toys R Us instead, waiting for the doors to open at 5 a.m.? TVs over turkey! Computers over cranberry sauce! Gameboys over Grandma’s house!
Granted, there are blessed exceptions — Nordstrom’s, for one. The upscale retailer doesn’t decorate its stores until the day after Thanksgiving. Signs in the stores say the decorations won’t be up before Black Friday “because we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.”
Bravo, Nordstrom’s. Yes, your bold stand guarantees you will receive some of my holiday shopping dollars. But you might as well be a lone candle in a hurricane.
As for Halloween, what could be more (pre-Christmas) festive than a holiday that relies on costumes? It’s a great opportunity for children of all ages to dress up and play cowboy or cowgirl, astronaut, rock star or what have you. It deserves better than being run over by the giant marketing machine that is Christmas.
So here’s to celebrating all holidays as the arrive. Let’s take back All Hallow’s Eve. Break out the mulled cider and save the eggnog for December. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to look for my DVD of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”