Note: I wrote the editorial for the upcoming issue of my school paper. I also made the comic. Both are posted here.The once-firm boundaries between holidays, the clear lines that separated Christmas from the rest of the year have been breaking. First, Thanksgiving fell, and the storm of pine and peppermint flooded forward to the very edge of October.
So far, Halloween is holding, but the Christmas season is beginning to leak through. Some stores have had Christmas displays up since the last week of September. Many start their change-over on Oct. 29 or 30.
We get it. Christmas is fun. There are special kinds of decoration, a (painfully small) collection of songs that form a mini-genre for the season, and it’s a time when we get to let go of our stiff adult cynicism and enthusiastically embrace the notions of human goodness and mutual wellbeing. There are even occasional opportunities to dress up, and the chance to give members of your community small gifts.
You know what else has all those things?
So if Christmas can bleed out into the very beginnings of autumn, why can’t Halloween spill forward into the winter? Why not put away those Christmas carols for another month or so and put on a playlist of the Monster Mash, creepy sound effects, and Oingo Boingo’s “No One Lives Forever?”
Let’s have some more Halloween parties. Let’s go trick-or-treating the way folks go caroling. Don’t want to bug your neighbors for candy? Why not trick-or-treat for spare change and raise money for a local animal shelter? Don’t want to go out in a flimsy Sexy Mitt Romney costume after the snow starts to fall? Pick out a nice, fuzzy werewolf outfit or go out as a vampire -- capes are warm, you know!
And get some more events going! You put a lot of work into your costume this year, didn’t you? Aren’t you a little bummed out that you only got to wear it that one time? Let’s resolve to ensure that every autumn every casual costume enthusiast gets at least three events to show off their work.
So if you want a little extra time for your Christmas shopping -- say you actually want to start on Black Friday, not the month and a half of special-secret-pre-sale-sales, consider showing up to Thanksgiving dressed as Frankenstein’s Turkey. Put up orange string lights for a while before the red and green ones. Get your money’s worth from the fog machine you rented.
Fight back against the Candy Cane Horde and the endless loop of Jingle Bell Rock and the only Mariah Carey song that’s still relevant. March forward, as ghosts, or zombies, or elaborate and clever visual puns, and take November back from Christmas, by filling it with Halloween.