This weekend was Halloween — arguably one of my favorite days of the year, if not my most favorite day of the year — yet as I zipped and snapped and tucked my kids into their costumes, I found myself struggling to locate my give-a-damn. Halloween comes but once a year, sure, but this year it kind of feels like it was Halloween for three months.
It was early August when people began their countdown to pumpkin spice lattes and handmade wool scarves. It was barely September when I saw the first listicle about funny family Halloween costumes. It was also September when I noticed my local Target had gone full-haunt and was rocking a huge selection of costumes, skulls, pumpkins, and cobwebs. They even had one Christmas aisle already decked out because, as we all know, All Hallows’ Eve is just the prologue to yuletide joy.
By the time Halloween night finally rolled around, I was fresh out of fucks to give. Sure, that one baby dressed up as the pope for the White House trick-or-treat event and it was hilarious. Yup, Viola Davis’ daughter went as her mom for Halloween and it was a stunning statement about the importance of representation in Hollywood. Yes, all the kids were adorable and we had a great time trick-or-treating, but also? I’ve had vampire teeth and Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins shoved in my face for two solid months. Take your tiny Twix bars and talking skeletons and shove it, Halloween.
There’s such a thing as over-saturation, and I think we’ve finally reached the point where our rampant enthusiasm for all things holiday is starting to eat away at the joy of celebration. This morning — the second day of November — my inbox is already full of spam about holiday gifts and checking my list twice. ABC Family just announced the lineup for their “25 days of Christmas,” which doesn’t start for an entire month. Thanksgiving? Well, Thanksgiving may as well just not exist. It’s like the Jan Brady of holidays, if the Brady family had shipped Jan off to boarding school in another galaxy and never spoken of her again.
Holiday fatigue is a real thing, and it’s starting earlier and earlier as we bleed Christmas into October and Halloween into our mid-summer beach vacations. Before long, we’re just going to put lights on our houses in June, throw out some festive witch-elf hybrids and pumpkins in red hats, and spend six solid months pumping our kids full of toys and candy and cranberry sauce for Hallo-giving-mas.
Can we please just take a second to breathe between big events?
I’m as enthusiastic about the holidays as anyone — I yank out my fall decor the first day of October, I start thinking about holiday cards well in advance, and I love having my Christmas tree up — but even I have had enough. I’d rather savor the small window each holiday comes in than keep trying to make the window bigger, better, brighter, longer.
Rushing into the holiday season doesn’t make it more special. It just makes everyone exhausted, annoyed, and ready for it to be over.