How The Tables Have Turned
When I was a kid, and well into my early ‘20s, I would always feel a sense of excitement and anticipation about the first sign of Christmas things in stores. This would always elicit a groan from my mother would who say words to the effect of “It’s not even Halloween/Thanksgiving yet.” I would always dismiss this and during my younger years, I felt a sense of excitement akin to when the Holiday JC Penny catalog would come.
The other day I drove my mother around to take her shopping. One of the stores we entered was already awkwardly displaying Christmas stuff butted up against the waining Halloween section. I saw it all and commented “It’s too early for Christmas. I’m not ready yet. I need Halloween to happen first.” If this had been a movie there would have been a record scratch at this point, followed by a slow-motion zoom-in on my mother as she turned her head toward me in shock.
“Oh, how times have changed” she began. “Mr. ‘it’s never too early’ has now become ‘Oh, no. Not before Halloween.’” She took great delight in this. Great delight in giving me playful grief for all the times I would comment when I was younger that it never bothered me. Yes, there is a certain irony in that I now think it’s too early to see Christmas before Halloween.
If you’ve read my column lo these many years you know that Halloween is a big deal in my family. It’s a Christmas-level holiday. It’s always done up very big with friends around and a little buffet of food in the kitchen. This is why I suppose that now at my age I want Halloween to just be Halloween. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and when it comes I will go all out.
I think part of why I like Halloween to just be Halloween these days is that for us elder millennials, Halloween is a warm reminder of much more carefree days. We’re a generation that feels a bit “between two worlds,” so Halloween gives us a chance to let our inner kid out a bit more boldly than we would most other days. I wonder too if it’s just a part of getting older and finding that time does indeed seem to speed up the older you get.
You’re reading this shortly after the end of Halloween, which means you may wonder how I feel about Thanksgiving getting “overtaken” in the spotlight. To be honest, I want Thanksgiving to have its due too. But if the truth is being told come about two weeks I’ll be ready to embrace Christmas. I’ll start thinking about putting my tree up and getting some decorations out.
I might not. I may wait till after Thanksgiving. But though I’ll be a stressed-out ball cooking on that day, as soon as it ends, I’ll be in full Santa mode. But until then, I’m gonna stay spooky for as long as possible. See you next week.