The beach towels, sun block, and school supplies are no longer top on our shopping lists; instead, it’s all about the bags of candy, fall decor and holiday shopping.
It’s time to hang those spiders, bake the turkey, and decorate the tree. The fall season is underway.
We, or at least I, wait all year long for this time of year because it means four of the main holidays have finally arrived: Halloween, with the creative, and at times, disturbing costumes; Thanksgiving, with all the appetizing food; Christmas, with all the great festive music, decorations and shopping; and finally, New Year’s Eve, with the multiple parties, fireworks and countdown.
Even though these holidays happen close together, they feel even more rushed by department store advertising.
It’s only the middle of September, a full six weeks before Halloween, and already costume stores and holiday decorations are in full swing. The weekly Sunday ads in the newspaper have doubled, advertising costumes, holiday crafts and food coupons. It’s good to be prepared, but six weeks before? That’s almost two months to prepare.
You walk into Walmart, Target or Costco only to be greeted with hanging Halloween signs leading you to the many festive shelves lined with masks, makeup and candy. Or you visit their websites, which have hundreds of costumes and recipe ideas to browse through.
However, when it gets close to Halloween, that’s when stores start to break out the Thanksgiving stuff before Halloween has even happened. At least wait until after Halloween to start preparing for Thanksgiving. We have three weeks. How much more do we need?
Not too many years ago I needed some last-minute makeup to go with my costume. When I got to Walmart I found all the Halloween stuff had moved to the very back of the store and was replaced with Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. This happened a few days before Halloween even occurred. The least the store could have done was not move everything around until the day after Halloween.
What is also irritating is the day after Thanksgiving. You spend Thanksgiving eating great food and relaxing with family, and the next day it’s chaos. People spend the next few days with the rush and crowds at stores, trying to get Christmas shopping done at a much reduced price.
It’s not just these holidays that get rushed either. Right after New Year’s, department stores are getting ready for Valentine’s Day weeks in advance, and then St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.
It’s a never-ending cycle of stores preparing for the holidays. They get blended together as one big holiday, or headache, depending on your level of holiday spirit.
So, why not stop the cycle and celebrate each holiday separately? They only come once every 365 days, after all.
This year, take time to stop and enjoy every crazy costume, every delicious piece of candy, every mouthful of yummy turkey and every Christmas carol. It just might be our last.