Thursday, October 29, 2009

Christmas Needs to Stop

I've come to a realization that really is horrifying. Therefore it must be posted on Haunted House Writer, being that I'm sure it would scare other people who have personalities that are similar to the theme of this blog.

I love Halloween. I know most of my close friends do as well. During the month of October, I feel alive...which is ironic really due to the huge emphasis on death. But regardless I feel that it's the perfect time of year for people with active senses of humor. (Notice I didn't say good?)

The fall is a time of sadness. It represents decay, as the trees and plants slowly succumb to the colder weather. We must put away the shorts and pull out the warm coats. The darkness comes earlier. We are marching head first into the icy grip of winter. October literally is that transition. November starts the "cold month" run and September is still a wild card in terms of nice or awful weather. But October, you know you are going to experience a chill on those breezy autumn nights, as the spirits rustle through the trees.

So it is only normal and natural that the tradition/holiday/pagen feast of souls (as some radicals would call it) occurs during the month of October. As we approach at time where many are "sad" because they are forced to remain indoors for longer period of times, huddled around fireplaces or under layer upon layer of clothing. Halloween is a lovely distraction from all this. We get candy, can dress up, go to haunted houses, or just play tricks on our friends. Indeed for those with a sense of humor, it is our last gasp attempt to have a little fun before the desolate winter sets in and renders life so miserable that a little jolt or scare would not be able to melt the heart of even the most kindest of souls.

So October/Halloween is extremely important. It literally attempts to take the edge off before the cold season. Therefore we need to celebrate Halloween. We need parties, we need haunted houses, we need costumes, we need the Monster Mash, we need candy, we need to be scared, and we need to have fun. As Tim Burton would have it: Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare.

This brings me to the problem of Christmas. I will argue that nobody dislikes Christmas. There is gift giving, good cheer (usually,) togetherness, the birth of Salvation (depending upon religious views,) and at the very least, even if you are some horrible old miser, some time off of work/school. I like Christmas just fine.

What I don't like, as my favorite comedian Lewis Black says, "that Santa has started poking his ass into everything." Christmas dominates the calender. It really does. It is an important holiday no doubt, but it really needs to be more contained. It is "posh" to start putting up the Christmas decorations on November first, despite the fact Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet. It is also socially acceptable to leave the Christmas lights up till the second weekend in January. That's roughly 65 days of Christmas. People who don't care about Halloween as much already have Christmas stuff up during October.

I will grant that you will start seeing Halloween items in stores near the beginning of September, but if you put up the decorations at your house at the same time, it would just not fit. It's still too warm, the summer still lingers, and pumpkins aren't even off the vine yet. You need to wait until the last week of September at the earliest to avoid looking "antsy." The major holidays usually get a month of preparation time in stores, which is why Halloween stuff will appear in September. Thanksgiving stuff will appear midway through October, and Easter stuff...well it just appears when the time is right since Easter moves each year.

But Christmas? You go into the right store and two weeks into October you will find impressive Christmas displays. It's almost like Halloween is over and they start to shrink the Halloween section. So even if you are the kind of person who waits for December to start decorating, you can buy your items in October. That is two and a half months of preparation. Why? Halloween is the only other holiday that comes close and that's only because of the costumes. If you didn't dress up on Halloween, you wouldn't see sections in stores until October 1st.

What good does shopping for Christmas in October do? Yeah I guess you can get all your shopping done in one stop. But let me bring this all home. October is a depressing month with Halloween as a sinister-joker-like feel to try and take the edge off. Christmas is a kinder and more gentle time. Literally a "present" during the midst of winter to remind us that all is not lost.

When you put Christmas trees and Santa Claus in stores, in October, you are completely destroying that atmosphere of Halloween. Rather than getting the "trick-or-treat/spooky/haunted atmosphere" of Halloween, you get creepy jokering mixed with seasonal good cheer. Jack-o-lanterns mixed with trees. Severed limbs mixed with boughs of holly. You get the complete antithesis of one another that while in a store literally assaults you from all angles rendering you completely overloaded to the point where despair once again reigns. Halloween feels like it's already past, and Christmas is still too far on the horizon. For Christmas people I suppose this isn't that bad of a thing. But for Halloween people it is a very discouraging almost existence ending feeling. It also destroys the point of Halloween, to give one last hurrah before winter over takes all.

Christmas can wait for November. We must do something about this. Christmas is fashionable until after Christmas. Halloween must achieve the same end. Halloween supporters must rise up and start to take the fight into November. The decorations are extremely similar as it is. I remember as a kid when November 1st hit, we'd just turn our jack-o-lanterns around so that they would be normal pumpkins again. Halloween must not literally vanish into the night as it always does on October 31st. It literally seems like a distant memory the next morning. We need to push into November. Haunted houses need to run longer. The delightful little tricks must carry us farther into the dead of night. Christmas needs to be hedged in and Halloween needs to share as much of the limelight. We must make a stand.

We don't want to go into December though...pumpkins are usually rotten and mushy by then.

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