Sunday, August 4, 2019

How Early is Too Early?

Who exactly is it that decides on August 1st, that Halloween decorations should come out of the closet and be displayed so that consumers can buy them up now while the "gettin' is good?" Halloween is three months away. I am all for planning early on holiday themes but please give me a break. People are still taking vacations to the beach or swimming in their pools. While outside of stores ceramic jack o'lanterns are giving us spooky grins and inside there are aisles dedicated to Halloween candies and costumes. 

First of all, I am slightly biased. Out of all of the holidays, Halloween is my least favorite one of all. 

This picture along with other dress up costumes just give me the creeps. I found nothing exciting about going into a haunted house as a child. Thinking back, the only good thing about Halloween was going from house to house saying, "Trick or Treat" and being given candy. Of course, once home with the candy it was then turned over to my Mom who rationed it over time. 

I did the same thing with my own children and they are now doing it with their children. Better than being up all night with a sick child who ate way too much candy and now has a stomach ache or is on such a sugar high they will never calm down to sleep. I will say that while I had some control over the costumes, they were never scary or gory creatures. 

Plus, in today's times, very few parents take their children out trick or treating due to the apparent dangers. It is a whole new era, unfortunately not all of it is good. There are parties held at schools or churches where parents can take their kids all dressed up to go around for their candy. The name trunk or treat is used because cars park along in rows with their trunks open for the children to walk by to receive their treats. Some large businesses even have a day set aside for parents to bring in children to show off their Halloween fashions and to receive candy.

Really, in order to prepare for Halloween, I am sure that October 1st is quite soon enough to start looking for a costume or even piecing one together. If you live in the South and buy your pumpkin too early, it will rot sitting out waiting for Halloween night. Retailers are ready for the stampede on decorations and candy. If people buy the big bags of candy now, then they will have to turn around and buy more closer to the real date because they would have nibbled it all piece by piece. (Just speaking from experience!)

Back to School promotions really do have to begin in July because so many schools around here begin in early August. Supply lists are on web pages and if parents don't get on it fast, they are searching for the right tablet, glue, notebook, and uniforms. Who can be bothered with Halloween when school time is gearing up? 

Sort of on the same subject, just how early is it for Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise to start coming out in the stores? Thanksgiving, not so much. The pumpkins just sort of go from Halloween right into November for Thanksgiving. 

Except for a Tom Turkey decoration here and there, it is not as big of a deal as Halloween and Christmas. That is unless you are a Martha Stewart wanna-be.

When she had a TV show, I actually watched it and she opened up a walk in closet that had china and table decorations for every holiday of the year all neatly arranged on shelves and labeled.

The next big question of the day is how early is too early for Christmas decorations to be displayed in the stores. Well, for your information, if you open your eyes in some of the large warehouse type stores and large department stores, there are actually some Christmas lights already up and blinking. It seems to just get earlier and earlier. Some people seem to actually like this. They say that it gives them extra time to get a lot of their Christmas shopping done early. They can stock up on wrapping paper, ribbons, lights, ornaments and even artificial trees. 

Some people have even told me that Christmas is their favorite holiday of the year and they really want to go all out for decorating. I am not so sure that decorating in October is the way to convey how special this holiday really is. At least wait until Halloween has come and gone. 

Even I would agree that holding off until after Thanksgiving before Christmas decorations come out is a bit late. For those who love the Black Friday which comes the day after Thanksgiving, these people are seriously into their Christmas shopping. As for me, I avoid going out of our home on not only Black Friday, but the whole weekend. 

We have had all of our children here for Thanksgiving and lucky for us, they all helped to bring down our Christmas decorations and even set some of the lights and decorations out. This is a tremendous help because one of us gets dizzy going up the flimsy attic drop down stairs and the other one has trouble with the heavy, bulky boxes that need to be brought down those same stairs. 

There have been articles about people who dedicate a whole room in their house to store their Christmas decorations. Some don't even take the tree down and box it up again. It remains decorated with lights ready to plug in. That is a bit much for my taste but to each their own. I never want to be accused of being judgmental. We just do not have a space like that to dedicate to Christmas. Secondly, I don't like too many decorations all around. It just seems messy to me. Tastefully done in a minimalistic sort of fashion works best for me. What others do in their homes works for them, I am sure. My last point is that I like to change the theme of the tree around from year to year. Even a good basic traditional tree may be all silver ornaments and decorations, or gold or a combination. Or, I may even decide to go with a retro Christmas tree of white.

Everyone has their opinion and are entitled to how they feel. I love the holidays and even have already started shopping. I make a list of what has already been purchased for friends and family. That way, and this was a lesson learned the hard way, I don't forget and overspend or buy the same thing twice. Also, a great lesson that I learned is to wrap as the gifts come in. It saves spending hours wrapping everything at once. We no longer have little eyes peeping in closets to see gifts so we can wrap and put out of sight until the tree goes up. 

One more Christmas note to make is to be careful that you do not go overboard on outside Christmas lights. Remember, the movie where Chevy Chase blew the whole neighborhood's fuse out and no one had electricity due to the number of lights he used for decorations? I believe that Tim the Toolman did the same thing on his TV sitcom, "Home Improvement." We actually have a home in our neighborhood who uses the blow up decorations in their yard with spotlights shining on them. When I say "them," I am talking at least 30 huge blow up Christmas decorations.

Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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