Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bring on the Holidays

And so it begins! This coming Thursday the banshees will wail, the ghosts will scream and the witches will fly among the stars of a nearly moonless night. Yes, Halloween is nigh! As a kid I’d put on my costume and run around the neighborhood scoring as much candy as possible. Halloweens were always special but one Halloween was more special than most. When I was thirteen or so, one of my female classmates wore a witch costume to a Halloween party and I learned that not all witches were scary or ugly. Maybe it was the sexy costume, well it sure seemed sexy to me, or maybe I had just reached the age where I could appreciate female beauty, but that was a game changer, I would never look at Halloween the same again.

For me, either before or after that year, Halloween always marked that point in time every fall when the pace of life changed. Up until then, the days passed at a normal pace; school days, high school football games every Friday night and parties or sock hops Saturday nights. But all that changed on Halloween. The holiday season was upon us, now the days would begin to pass at an ever increasing rate as we raced ever faster toward Thanksgiving and beyond that, Christmas and New Years.

Now in 2013, soon the pumpkins and candy corn will be replaced with turkeys and all the trimmings. In just a few weeks it will be time to turn on the TV and watch Macy’s parade in New York City, then the next day, the rivalry college football games will beckon some of us the rest of that weekend while the call of “Black Friday” rides the siren call sung by the shopping centers to the shoppers in us.

At least to me that is the way it is supposed to be. In our house there was a special centerpiece for the dining room table for every holiday. Between Halloween and Thanksgiving Mom would bring out the paper turkey centerpiece. That was replaced by a small Christmas tree that would grace our family meals until the weekend after New Year’s Day. Other times of the year would reveal a little Easter bunny and an American flag. Small things that I believe that gave us an appreciation for each distinct holiday and I love that difference.

These days when Halloween displays in the stores are right beside those for Christmas. It just doesn’t feel right. Jamming the holidays together may be well and good for the kids of today but I really like celebrating each and every holiday of the season all by itself before moving on to the next. First, Halloween with all the children dressed as ghosts, goblins, witches and fairy princesses scurrying around the neighborhood begging for treats. Thanksgiving is next with parades, trips back home and family time. Then it is time for Advent and the preparation for the Christmas season. Christmas carols fill the air and boys and girls try their best to be good which is hard because of the visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Finally Christmas / Hanukah and New Years round out the end of the year in a blaze of holiday glory. Now that is the way to celebrate. Savor the nuances of each holiday, not mix them all into a common stew!

So I will be celebrating Halloween this week by handing out treats to the neighborhood kids who come knocking. Next month, I’ll eat some turkey with all the trimmings, think of the pilgrims and be thankful for all the good people in my life. Then in December it will be time for carols, silver bells, Santa Clause and a little Babe in a manger. Each separate, each in its own time! Oh MY!

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