My Halloween preparations began in mid-September, although I'd been thinking about it for longer. That's when I started finding pieces for my daughter's Princess in Black costume, deciding on my own costume, and trying to find the best deal on a Boba Fett costume for my son. I also bought some new Halloween decorations and was preparing The October Diary.
Once October officially hit there were decorations to hang, pumpkin patches to visit, pumpkins to carve or decorate, and deals on candy to be found. Finally, on October 31st we hosted a small group of friends as we handed out candy to over 1,300 trick-or-treaters.
But before the first costumed kid arrived at my door we were already discussing who would host Thanksgiving. This year we hosted at my house with a total headcount of 15. This meant figuring out who would bring what and how to fit everyone. The solution included my neighbor (the one who made the fence) building an eight foot extension for my existing dining table, and my husband and I rearranging furniture to make room for the extra long set up and chairs.
But even before the turkey was served I was preparing for Christmas: Planning gifts, brainstorming what activities to include in our Christmas countdown calendar, choosing a date for our Christmas party, and ordering Christmas cards. And now, with a few Thanksgiving leftovers still in the fridge, the real Christmas frenzy begins: Decorating, baking, sending cards, wrapping gifts, donating toys, going to parties, getting a tree, decorating the tree, and so on.
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but I barely get to enjoy one holiday before making to do lists for another. It's crazy. Something should be done about it.
Please don't tell me I don't have to do all those things. Don't tell me to simplify. I don't do all those holiday activities because I feel like I have to do them. I do them because I want to do them. I do them because I like doing them. I would want to do more if I had the time, but I don't, largely because I'm celebrating my three busiest holidays in a row. Except my kids' birthday parties, I don't do anything nearly as festive during the rest of the year.
To make things a bit easier, couldn't we spread Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas throughout the year? We could do trick-or-treating in the spring, give gifts in the summer, and stuff ourselves with stuffing in the fall or winter.
Part of me wants that, but another part of me likes the marathon of frenetic fun at the end of the year distracting us, somewhat, from shorter days and colder temperatures. Besides, it lets me do some of my Christmas shopping at the after Halloween sales. (It's my Black Friday.)
Enjoy the holiday season. Do what you love. Skip what you don't. On New Year's Eve we can toast having survived it all again (and start counting the days until next October).
RELATED POST: In defense of Christmas Cards
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