October is for Halloween. December is for Christmas. And November is for Thanksgiving.
Last month I walked into a kolache shop and was immediately punched in the ear by loud Christmas music. I turned to my husband with a look of disgust and a comment about how it was the middle of October and they should be playing Monster Mash on repeat, not Sleigh Ride. I was about make my obvious displeasure more obvious when a woman walked in behind us and starting dancing and singing about the ring-ting-ting-a-ling. I didn’t want to yuck her yum (though, to be fair, she WAS yumming my yuck).
Granted, I am Grinchier than most and I’m the annoying neighbor whose house is tricked out for Halloween starting on Labor Day weekend. I get annoyed when I see 7-foot pre-lit Christmas trees out before the smoke of 4th of July fireworks has cleared (I’m looking at you, Costco) and I grew up in a house with a dad whose favorite holiday was Thanksgiving and whose birthday is December 5 – so our tree went up 20 days before Christmas at the earliest.
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Before I can even finish my kids’ Halloween costumes, I have Amazon sending me their holiday gift guide, Shutterfly sending me promo codes to get a jump on my Christmas cards, and Blue Santa emailing me to say “it’s that time of year again!” Maybe you’re the type of person who shrieks with delight at these things, but I’m not. October is for Halloween. December is for Christmas. And November is for Thanksgiving.
It’s the least commercialized holiday out there, and the only gift expectation is the gift of food – and the food doesn’t even have to be heart-shaped or pastel. There’s no pressure to overspend if all you can afford is a can of green beans and cream of mushroom soup (there’s probably some weirdo in your family who thinks green bean casserole is delicious). As the Christmas season grows earlier and earlier and becomes more and more commercialized every year, I find myself getting more and more into Thanksgiving. After all, Thanksgiving has so much going for it that Christmas doesn’t:
- There’s no expectation to wear pants with a zipper or a button
- It’s acceptable to watch football all day
- The only list you have to make is a grocery list
- Turkey and pumpkin pie don’t require AAA batteries
- Everyone practices gratitude for what they already have, even if it’s just for one day
The seasonal aisle at HEB may have leftover Halloween candy, turkey plates, and red and green balls in it right now, but one holiday per month is all I can handle. I’m not going to stop you from putting up your snow-flocked garland while kids are trick-or-treating if that’s what makes you happy. Just let me have my decorative gourds and avoid the mall a little longer. Happy Thanksgiving!