Halloween and Thanksgiving are the "no real pressure" holidays. Why do retailers like to pretend they don't exist?


 


Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of the year. 

I love the smells, the bright colors, the birds gathering for flight and the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet. 

It is also the time of year for Halloween and Thanksgiving –  my two favorite holidays.

There is no real pressure at either of these holidays, unlike Christmas. 

On Halloween, I get together with a couple of friends. They bring their kids; I bring mine. We trick-or-treat for a while depending on the weather, watch a scary movie (but not too scary because of the kids – I think this year we are watching Corpse Bride by Tim Burton – and the kids eat way, way too much candy. 

It is a fun, relaxed and relatively unstructured holiday. 

The fun is in getting together with friends and family and enjoying ourselves.

The same can be said about Thanksgiving. Everyone brings a dish to pass. My uncle always takes care of the turkey. 

I do the potatoes and gravy. Everybody has their little job and it runs like clockwork. 

By the afternoon, my cousins are settled into the living room watching football, and I am usually in one of the spare bedrooms sleeping off too much turkey. 

These two holidays add to the splendor of the fall season. 

It is a time to come together, enjoy the bounty of the fall harvest and do some fun stuff before the snow flies. 

What irks me more than a little, however, is the fact that retailers would like to pretend Hallo-ween and Thanksgiving don’t exist. I was shopping recently, and my boy wanted to get an early peek at the costumes, so he had an idea of what he wanted to go to Halloween as. 

We rounded the corner to where the costumes are at, and what do you think I saw?

Christmas trees.

Really?

People joke stores start in with the Christmas stuff earlier each year, but it’s no joke. 

They really do get an earlier and earlier jump on it each and every year. 

Soon there will be Christmas trees on display when you go in to buy Valentine’s Day candy. 

Thanksgiving in particular is a holiday designed to slow us down a bit and to reflect on the past year. We look back at all of the good things that happened and give thanks for them. 

In today’s fast-paced work-a-day world, there isn’t any time to slow down and reflect. It’s move, move, move, move, move. 

Instead of relaxing for a bit, taking in this beautiful fall weather (although not so much so for the farmers), and taking it easy, we are pushed to start worrying not about the next thing, which is Thanksgiving, but the thing after that, which is Christmas. 

What about here? 

What about now?

I’ll have plenty of time to worry about Christmas in the last two weeks of December. 

Believe me. 

I will worry.

In my family, we look at Christmas an awful lot like Thanksgiving. We get together, celebrate the holiday, enjoy seeing each other, eat some good food, drink some good wine and try to relax.

In Sarah’s family, however, it’s all about the gifts. Oh my gosh do they have gifts. Our first year together the trunk and back seat of our car was packed  solid with gifts for Sarah’s nieces, nephews and little sister, which I totally understand. There were also gifts for aunts, uncles, older sisters, Mom, Dad and older cousins. 

We actually left two big boxes of gifts at home by accident and no one was the wiser until we got back home and Sarah saw the gifts. I tried to convince her to leave them for next year, but that was wasted breath.

Yeah, I’m going to stress about Christmas at Sarah’s this year, especially in this economy. 

I hope I can convince her family to cut back on the gift giving this year and have the gift of love and togetherness be the gift that is exchanged. 

Until then, I’m going to enjoy the two holidays we still have left before I start worrying about Christmas.