I don’t know when it happened. It sort of crept up on us over decades of commercialism. The holiday season is upon us… again.
I used to think that the holiday season started on Thanksgiving and ended on New Year’s Day. The retail stores would have us think that it starts on Labor Day when the first Christmas trees are displayed until after Valentine’s Day.
However, you can ignore that blatant display of retail hubris and consider that the holiday season actually starts from the day your kids pick out the perfect pumpkin until the day all the Christmas tinsel has been removed from your beater brushes.
During this time there is a dizzying variety of unrelated items being bought and sold. From plastic pumpkin carry-alls to china decorated with plump turkeys (as if to say, “This is how it would look if it didn’t get slaughtered, gutted, de-feathered and roasted for your dining pleasure.”).
If you enter a small store, they might offer vampire teeth, a set of leaf-shaped salt and pepper shakers, a snow globe, a turkey baster, a screaming witch doormat and a tree skirt - all on the same shelf.
I would feel sorry for the retail community’s challenging lack of space except that… I don’t. They should reserve October for Halloween, November for Thanksgiving, and December for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and… who did I miss? Then they wouldn’t have this seasonal traffic jam on their shelves. Obviously, the person responsible for this annual chaos is not a mom.
I have two boxes full of Halloween costumes and my younger kids are starting to “age out” of costumes anyway. So I really didn’t need to buy costumes this year. What I needed was a bag of Halloween candy and some glow sticks. Glow sticks have become a Halloween staple for my kids; like having sparklers on the 4th of July.
This year, I made the mistake of going into the store by way of the garden department. The forest of Christmas trees in full holiday regalia was daunting, but I plunged in, determined to find the candy and glow sticks. I passed a display of beautifully decorated stockings. I paused to watch a tiny skier swoosh down a plastic snow mountain. I admired the hand-painted ornaments. Should I get one for our tree?
What tree? What am I thinking! I have a witch on my door and graveyards have sprung up in people’s front yards! It’s Halloween!
Pushing past Christmas and Hanukkah, I came to matching towels, napkin holders and tablecloths in various autumn colors. There were turkey platters, recipe books and pilgrim centerpieces. Plastic fruit for your cornucopia was scattered throughout the pie plates and mashed potato bowls.
I really liked the set of wooden serving spoons, but… no! Goblins, spiders, Superman, and dead people, remember? Ghosts and Ironman, vampires and Tinker Bell. Okay, okay. Forget the glow sticks; I needed to get to the candy department before I bought a sprig of mistletoe for my kids to sport during their trick-or-treating foray.
The candy shelf was not much better. I found the candy corn next to the red and green M&M’s. The bag of Three Musketeers that I had thought to buy was nowhere to be found.
I wonder how our Halloween visitors would feel about candy canes?
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.
Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at email@example.com Or visit her website <a
for more info.