Combating the ‘holiday creep’

Gray Hughes

I think either Carol or Bev wrote about this very phenomenon a couple of years ago, but I think it’s worth revisiting.

As you very well know, last Thursday was Halloween. You know Halloween—the holiday where kids get dressed up and walk door-to-door asking for candy. The holiday where horror movies are as common as flies on a buffalo. The very holiday that caps the time of the year that is now know by today’s youth as #SpookySzn.

But, to many retail outlets, Halloween is now, for all intents and purposes, Christmas Eve.

Don’t get me wrong: I totally get it. The Christmas shopping season represents the busiest time of year for most retailers. I would want to capitalize on that if I was running a business, too.

But, believe it or not, there’s actually a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas. It’s called Thanksgiving! I know, weird! Who would’ve thought? Not me!

Obviously I say that in jest, but Thanksgiving has truly become a forgotten holiday. Hallmark doesn’t make Thanksgiving movies and instead opts to start playing Christmas movies before Halloween is over. Many stores already have Christmas displays up by the time the last piece of candy is handed out. Quite honestly, the only way you can really tell that Thanksgiving is coming up is by the cooking displays at the grocery store enticing you to get your ingredients early.

I will, however, give a special shoutout to Krull’s for their Thanksgiving display you seen as soon as you walk in the door.

I’m just as guilty as those other stores, though. This past weekend, I found myself reaching for a carton of eggnog, listening to Christmas music and, after the Eagles played on Sunday, my girlfriend and I watched a Christmas movie together.

I found myself wanting to put up Christmas decorations, getting my tag to cut down a Christmas tree and wanting to tell people that Grace passed away 30 years ago (a reference to my all-time favorite Christmas movie, “Christmas Vacation”).

But what happened to Thanksgiving? To me, Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays on the American calendar. We were the first nation to dedicate a whole holiday specifically for giving thanks, and I have much for which to give thanks (but more on that in my column before Thanksgiving).

I understand that Thanksgiving is not a major retail holiday like Halloween (where people buy costumes, boat loads of candy and elaborate decorations) or Christmas (for obvious reasons), but, in my opinion, it is still highly important.

We as Americans, too, tend to start celebrating things too early. Looking back at August, if you went into some major retail stores, you began to see orange and black decorations for Halloween. And that’s in August! Pumpkin spice products become as common as bikers during Sturgis during that time period. Don’t get me wrong — I love pumpkin spice and I am guilty in indulging in those products when it’s still summer, but maybe when the thermometer is in the 80s it’s too hot for a pumpkin spice latte.

But it’s not just this time of year that seems to hit us a little early retail-wise.

Back to school stuff seems to hit the shelves the minute school is out. Now, I don’t know about today’s kids, but when I was a kid the last thing I wanted to think about once school was out was going back to school.

Valentine’s Day stuff will be in the stores the second all of the Christmas stuff is gone. After that comes Easter supplies, the summer and, before you know it, we’re back to Halloween.

But, like I said, I’m as guilty as anyone. I think most of us are. What can we do to stop what should be know as the “holiday creep?” I think it’s pretty simple.

We tend to look forward to things. Once again, I get it — we want to think about the happy times associated with each season, and we want those good feelings as soon as possible.

The only way to combat this, then, is to live in the moment. Think about the good times associated with the season that we’re in.

Now, will I do what I am telling you to do? Not completely. I’ll still be drinking my eggnog and dreaming of the day that I can put garland on my fireplace mantle.

All I am saying you should do, this time of year, is try to be in the moment and, most importantly, think about what we’re thankful for this time of year.

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