Foster: Is it really Christmas time?
Face paint and costumes are shoved under the bed for another year of hibernation as Halloween fades into the past. Whether it is from an overdose in candy or one too many drinks, the stomachache inevitably kicks in. Leftover candy corn suddenly tastes like powdered, sugary paste and the idea of a pumpkin patch causes you to cringe. So, what does one do?
Well, I went to Hirons for an errand because life had resumed its normal, busy routine. As I waited at the checkout counter, tapping my foot and admiring the chocolates lining the aisle, a man and a woman walked in the front door.
Now, understand that just over two weeks after Halloween, dancing snowmen and colored ornaments already decorate the front of the store. Local and corporate businesses didn’t give us too much turn around time.
The two people pause as they pass the wall covered in fake snow and tiny villages. With a role of her eyes the woman says, “Look at this…” and pointedly walks away.
And her friend replied with a shrug, “What? It’s Christmas time.”
Is it really? Halloween isn’t a holiday until about a week before it begins. We may frantically order costumes a month in advance, but no one says, “Happy Halloween,” until a few days prior for fear of being gawked at like you walked out the front door with underwear on your head. But, “Happy Holidays,” is perfectly acceptable the day after Halloween. Even Starbucks chucked out their Fall cups as if they carried the plague. Last time I checked, December 22 was the first day of winter.
Thanksgiving and Christmas have been lumped into one holiday. While stores and coffee houses play “jingle bells” on repeat and look like the North Pole threw up on their merchandise, mom is frantically searching for a turkey that is big enough to leave a few day’s worth of leftovers, but not so large that it can’t fit into the oven. While people with full time jobs cross their fingers that they can have Christmas Day off, children are simultaneously becoming pen pals with Santa Claus. The Holiday time is different for everyone, but nobody wants to be left out of the festivities.
Thanksgiving has become that awkward three-times removed cousin that you don’t want to talk to because you met them once when you were eight-years old, and now they want to know when you’re getting married. You can’t pretend to be someone else. With Halloween, you can physically act and speak like something or someone that has no relation to who you are. Memories from our childhood come flooding back and we want to latch onto those feelings for as long as possible. Christmas provides a happy and inviting atmosphere that reminds us of our best memories as a child.
Thanksgiving is overlooked by businesses because it revolves around food and family time. They have nothing to sell you except a gigantic turkey and cranberry sauce ingredients. Maybe just celebrating Thanksgiving in November would be a good habit to begin. In one way, you fight the corporate and consumer nonsense that the holiday season has become and put family above material money and things. That’s not to say anything is wrong with playing Christmas music a little earlier than necessary. In all honesty, it’s my favorite time of the year.
But, just because you can’t buy many things or pretend to be someone else, doesn’t mean Thanksgiving deserves to be Christmas’s opening act. In other words, don’t forget about a holiday just because society is throwing the retail of another in your face.
When is it okay to start celebrating Christmas? That depends entirely on you.