Anyone who enters a store in this country is usually surprised to see merchandise for sale that is applicable four months in the future. 

The other day at Costco I couldn’t believe all the Christmas stuff and it was only the beginning of September. What is the rush to sell plastic Santas when we haven’t even pigged out on Halloween candy or roasted our turkeys yet?

Is it done for financial reasons? If so why would it make any difference if people bought their synthetic Christmas tree in September or in December? It’s not going to spoil and the price isn’t going to change in a few months. 

I’m sure Halloween candy is already marked half off and we haven’t even hit October first. It seems to me it’s better to wait and get fresher candy, but obviously I’m missing something here. Besides if you buy your candy earlier you eat it all and have to rebuy it anyway. Ah, so maybe that’s their plan. 

Trick or Treat hasn’t changed its meaning since I last looked. I mean kids are still coming to the door hoping for extra-large candy bars and avoiding the houses that give out the healthy crap. 

Then why the rush to move time forward? Who the heck is so anxious to get older? I thought the goal here is to stay younger and all the plastic surgeries, procedures and health nutty things we do are supposed to accomplish that goal.

I would think in this day and age when turning on the news is far scarier than Halloween could ever hope to be, people would embrace and savor the fun and binging on sugar that holiday provides. Why hurry it along when you can enjoy every moment and every candy bar?

Who is making the decisions to speed through the holidays instead of enjoying them like a homemade chocolate chip cookie warm from the oven or a mornay sauce prepared by a Michelin Chef? What’s the hurry here and why?

So I have been thinking about this on many levels and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

Individually these holidays that come in the later part of the year have their own distinct flavor and personalities.

I’ll start with Halloween because that is one of my favorites since it involves begging for free chocolate and no one handing it to you and saying, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll gain weight?” And besides one can always disguise themselves to look like an Oompa Loompa and no one cares what you weigh. I’m just assuming someone could do that, I wouldn’t know firsthand or anything. 

But I digress, so we were talking about the differences of each holiday.

Halloween is about dressing up in funny costumes and wish fulfillment on many levels.

The desire for sugar goodies and oddly enough the desire to create a new identity for oneself.

Choosing a costume we can evolve into our favorite super hero, movie star, supernatural creature or anyone or anything we choose. Damn you could even be a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup if you want, but back to the point here. 

It’s quite fun actually to be something or someone other than us one day a year. A fantasy moment that’s safe, uplifting and hurts no one.

Halloween has always been an enigma to me. The fun is interlaced with scary and spooky. I find it quite interesting how so many supposedly normal people are so fascinated with the macabre. It must be the fun of that adrenalin rush of fear combined with the sugar rush that creates an unbeatable high. Again, I’m just guessing here.

Let’s face it, there is a serious curiosity about Satan and his friends. Who hasn’t wondered if the devil truly exists only to watch someone like Charles Manson and be horrified by the reality that yes, indeed he does.

So why are devils, ghosts, goblins and witches still such a part of Halloween and won’t they still be there in October when it’s closer to the actual holiday? Isn’t real life scary enough for everyone these days? Why rush fear?

Must we begin to explore our inner desire to be Casper the Ghost in August when October is two months away? If it’s a retail decision isn’t the same money spent in August still good in October?

I understand the whole Fall theme that evolves as soon as Labor Day comes. Summer pastels are replaced with autumn colors. Homes and stores are filled with the smells of cinnamon and spices promising cool crisp days, cider and apples and fun hayrides through the apple orchards. 

Believe me I’m not arguing that Fall is an enticing season. It’s my favorite and the mild weather and beautiful colors are alluring, so that may be why everyone is so anxious to start the journey as early as possible. I get that, but what’s with the plastic Santas before we even think about how many pounds the turkey should be?

Is this some sort of slight against turkeys? Has America’s favorite holiday fallen into disfavor or something? As far as I know Macy’s is still planning their parade, Football will be playing on every big screen TV in the country, the Detroit Lions will probably lose, and homes in America will be filled with the same smells that have whetted appetites for over two-hundred years.  

Birds will be basted, marshmallows will be melted on top of yams, stuffing will be overflowing from Turkeys covered with herbs and the pumpkin pies will sit cooling on kitchen counters. Yes, it’s the best time of year when families come together to celebrate their favorite meal and spend the day eating until they are sick, bloated and fall asleep during half time. Gotta love America.

Okay, so I see why people, especially today are in a hurry to celebrate something. 

But isn’t rushing Christmas kind of sad? I’ve noticed as I grow older the Christmas Chanukah season seems rushed. It’s as though everyone is kind of over stuffing their faces and shopping, and Christmas is the last stop before New Year’s Eve. So maybe we’re speeding through instead of luxuriating in the moment?

I know everyone is full to the brim and burned out from the Black Friday sales, but ending the year with Santa and those greasy Latkes is rather special. 

Even Hallmark has started showing the Christmas movies earlier. I love how in their winter movies there’s fake snow on the ground and summer flowers blooming right across the street. But I digress.

Perhaps that’s the problem after all. By the time we get to the holiday we’re just over it. We’ve shopped, planned, gathered and cleaned and by the time it arrives it’s almost anti climatic.

Maybe if there wasn’t so much lead time we’d enjoy everything more.

Last minute Christmas shopping used to be a thing. It kept the adrenalin going and created excitement. Stores and malls were filled with shoppers rushing about, carrying bags and checking their phones to ensure that sweater they bought for Uncle Albert is the right size.

No offense to Amazon, which by the way I couldn’t live without now either. Yet rushing through the mall, stopping to meet a friend for lunch and talking about an updated version of a favorite recipe is all part of the joy. 

I guess what I’m feeling here is that hurrying the seasons diminishes our ability to enjoy what should be the happiness of living in the moment. 

Let’s face it, in today’s world we are bombarded with not-so-great stuff, so if we can hang onto joy a bit longer why not? We probably all need a little Christmas right now.

Perhaps that’s the secret retailers have discovered. By stretching out the holidays, they are actually making all the happy last a bit longer.

I guess that’s their holiday gift to us.