Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Santa Claus vs. The Great Pumpkin

No, I am not suggesting the next great MMA match-up on pay-per-view.

santaI am actually lamenting the demise of autumn holidays in the United States. I know I have some readers outside the US and I would love to know if they see the same trends in their countries.

We see it every year – the holiday ads start earlier and earlier, the decorations that actually came down last January go up sooner and sooner. We spend so much time jumping on the planning for the next holiday, that we don’t even enjoy the one we should be celebrating. Sadly, this makes me dread my favorite time of year.

I have always loved autumn. Back to school season (which is like a holiday to us nerd-girls!) starts the trend of cooler days, crisper air, and changing leaves. While the earth starts to slow its growth and go to seed, I see a season of beginning. New semesters and school supplies have always done that to me! I long for a class to take, a skill to learn, (another book to write?) 🙂

Shortly after, we are in October – the season of the witch, the days of haunting and candy.  Trick-or-treating, costumes, carving pumpkins, caramel apples, hayrides, bonfires, scary stories… who can resist. Some believe that Halloween has its origins in Welsh or Celtic pagan tradition, while others see it as a Christian holiday. While scholars may disagree on the origins of this holiday, we can all agree that however you enjoy it, it is a festive time.

Before you know it, Thanksgiving is around the corner. Ah, turkey day. A time to give thanks for the harvest and the year past. A time to gather with friends and family and stuff ourselves with the bounty of the table! Another holiday that everyone wants to claim a part of , it is linked directly to the American colonists in Plymouth celebrating a fine harvest. However, it has also been linked to the Protestant Reformation and various harvest festivals, including Sukkot, a Jewish celebration, and the pagan traditions. Which ever was the start of it, don’t forget to save room for pie! 🙂

And then, there’s Christmas with all the decorations – both classy and campy, Santa Claus and his reindeer, brown paper packages tied up with strings, and with any luck at all some white frosty flakes to paint the landscape. What is not to love!? This holiday is steeped in Christian and pagan traditions. There is something for everyone from religious to secular.

Believe me, I am one of those people who hums Christmas carols in the grocery store and play them on the stereo at work. I love everything that goes along with the holiday. And even though we are typically pretty sparse on the decorations due to the crazy cat kids, I enjoy seeing them everywhere I go.

BUT

I don’t want to see Christmas ads and decorations in October any more than I still want to be seeing the neighbors blinking lights up in March.

We live in a hustle and bustle world. Very few people can truly say they stop to smell the roses, or play in piles of leaves, or make snow angels, depending on the season. Once we reach adulthood, we are expected to keep up with the Joneses, climb the corporate ladder, run right along with all the other rats in the race.

I get it.

But I don’t have to like it, and I don’t have to play the game.

And I don’t feel that the holidays should fall victim to this constant race to pass time quickly.

I want to savor every moment of every month and enjoy each holiday as its own. I don’t want to just have a happy holiday season and let that encompass a quarter of a year. I think the Great Pumpkin deserves his own time, as does Tom the Turkey. Santa and his elves need to back off a little and wait their turn.

So let’s make a pact, right here, right now.

Repeat after me.

I vow to enjoy Halloween and autumn in October.
I vow to enjoy Thanksgiving and the reflective month of November.
I vow to enjoy Christmas in December where it belongs.
Despite all the ads and press, I will not do my holiday shopping and gift wrapping until at least 12/1.

🙂

2 Comments

  1. I will be decorating Home Depot for Christmas next week and with our business we start preparing for the holidays 6 months in advance! It really does throw off your personal sense of holiday spirit.

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