Now that Halloween is behind us, do you know what holiday comes next? What’s that? “Thanksgiving” you say? Wrong…Christmas is next! At least it is in the eyes of the advertisers, the stores and the catalogs.
My Friday trip to Walmart to buy my daughter’s new fish was my wake up call that the next holiday is actually Christmas. Two days after Halloween, Halloween was GONE. The little that remained was relegated to three small shelves containing a few squashed nylon Jack O’Lanterns, several flimsy costumes too ugly to have made it into a shopping cart, and a few dozen bags of cheap, tasteless candy that is now even cheaper (and which will certainly be even more tasteless by next Halloween).
Halloween has disappeared, and in its place there are plastic Santas, jolly singing snowmen, giant inflatable snow globes, and animated wire reindeer made of Christmas tree lights. The toy department is bustling with extra employees stocking the already full shelves with even more cheap plastic Chinese toys. Everything there talks, rumbles, roars, or at least flashes multicolored lights.
To me, there are few things more depressing that the annual Christmas propaganda that seems to begin earlier and earlier all the time. Why don’t they just leave the decorations and Christmas carols up and going all year long? That would surely save some money and maximize profits too.
By now, you might have detected an ever so slightly cynical tone to my thoughts on Christmas. Yes, as you may have guessed, every year I struggle with Christmas and how to make it something other than a shopping and accumulation fiesta. As my children grow older, it is becoming more and more troubling to me.
If it were just me, I would prefer to simply skip Christmas altogether. How’s that for being a complete Scrooge? “Scrooge Unplugged.”
But it is not just me in the world, so I can’t merely stick my head in the sand. I have three children who want to (and should) “do” Christmas. So this year, I am determined to continue my progress toward a simpler, more meaningful Christmas.
With that depressing little intro, I announce a new series at Unplug Your Kids entitled “Christmas Unplugged.” By Christmas, I also mean Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or whatever your personal over the top, year end festival of light might be.
So…if you are interested…stay tuned for my thoughts, and hopefully practical ideas, for unplugging your holidays.
Thanks to morguefile.com and photographer Clara Natoli for this photo.