One Holiday at a Time, Please!

Before August is even finished, many start gearing up for “spooky season.” Sweaters are pulled out of storage, skeletons begin to hit the shelves, and anticipation for the famed pumpkin spiced everything is ready to overflow before fall officially starts.

Then, in an eerily similar fashion, the hype for Christmas begins. Wreaths hang for sale, gifts start to get wrapped, and the classic songs play in homes all before the Thanksgiving turkey is even digested. Then the seasons are over, and suddenly it’s time to go back to waiting for the whole thing to start again.

Though this cycle happens without thought, one has to pause and ask, why does this happen? Furthermore, perhaps more philosophically, why are we as a society unable to stay in the present?

Personally, Halloween is my favorite holiday. There’s something incredibly intriguing and captivating about the macabre being celebrated lightheartedly. I can’t remember when I didn’t look forward to seeing some of my most watched movies used as decorations on people’s lawns.

Now, it’s entirely plausible that my love for the holiday stems from my birthday being so close to it—a sort of classical conditioning, if you will. Nevertheless, Halloween has always had sentimental value to me.

Year after year, I look forward to having the classic debate of whether or not The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or Christmas movie (it’s Halloween). That being said, what makes Halloween so unique is the fact that it has an entire month to it.

Sure, you could extend the Halloween “season” to include the beginning of November, and many do hold off on putting away the decorations for a bit. Still, the confines and finality of the season make any holiday something to appreciate.

This same sentiment applies to Christmas. Many people I know love to blast the Christmas tunes and get into the spirit as soon as Halloween finishes—it’s one right after the other, and Thanksgiving is nothing but a hurdle standing in the way of what’s actually important.

What these same people forget, however, is that Christmas is not until the end of December. There is almost a two month break between Halloween and Christmas. It’d be insane to have skeletons out in the middle of August, though stores have been beginning to pull them out of their closets as early as late July. Still, why doesn’t the same precedent apply to Christmas?

However, Christmas fans have that defense that stores are currently beginning to stock up for the festive season. The absolute worst part is that we feed right into it. In recent years, we have fallen increasingly into a pit of consumerism, thanks to corporations’ push on holiday merchandise and supplies.

Huge chains such as Target and Walmart continuously extend their holiday windows to maximize profit. They know what we want—our favorite holidays to be here as soon as possible. We, in turn, give them what they want—money.

One would think that this is a win-win scenario when in reality, we are being exploited for what we cherish most, such as creating memories and spending time with our families. Not to mention, store corporations aren’t the only ones promoting this instantaneous gratification of what we want.

The internet is a critical component in fostering a go-go-go mentality, where it seems as if we have to be on the move at all times constantly. Apps such as TikTok grant us instant dopamine fixes, all in a few minutes or less.

Communicating on apps such as Snapchat or Instagram also shows us the immediate second someone opens a message—and we wonder what’s wrong if they take too long to answer.

This easily transfers itself into our daily lives, and it’s no wonder it’s now applied to the real-life things we enjoy most, like holidays.

Though there is a corporational push for holidays to each have their elongated period, we as individuals and as a society can choose to slow it down, and we should. There’s no need to rush through the seasons that bring us joy, as savoring the shorter time we have with them can make them all the more enjoyable.
Letting holidays happen when they happen can foster a greater appreciation for them, which is perhaps what we as a society need in a climate of borderline thanklessness.

So, before you rush to turn on “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” in the crisp fall weather of November, perhaps take a moment and think if it’s actually beginning to look like Christmas— or if you just prematurely want it to.