‘Tis the season?

Story by Bridget Cooke, Staff Writer

September 7, 2012. The first day that I personally saw Halloween candy on sale. We’re already being bombarded with sales of candy and decorations more than a month before the actual event. Even commercials have started to air on television. Everywhere you look, the period of celebration has become a full-throttle exercise in greed. Companies have bastardized the phrase “holiday season.”

No matter where you go, you see vast amounts of sweets being sold still more than a month before Halloween. It’s barely fall season and pumpkins, candy corn, and shelf upon shelf of massive bags of candy are just begging to be bought. In Target two
weeks ago, I noticed a new type of M&Ms. They were white chocolate with a candy corn theme, being sold for a limited time.

Literally three days later when I returned while running some miscellaneous errands, the shelf was completely empty. One has to wonder if that wasn’t a ploy, a beta test if you will, to gauge the popularity of a new flavor—yet another avenue in which they are commercializing our memories.

Over the years, it seems as though corporations distributing these items have started earlier and earlier, fishing for more apathy toward the amount of time remaining in order to sell and make more during the accepted time of celebration, “accepted” being a term I refer to loosely. And in regard to beginning this process early, why is it that there are Christmas marathons playing in July? Has everyone gone insane?

Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays. I even buy decorations. When October rolls around, I’ll be outside my house pounding fake headstones into the ground. My roommates have a love/hate relationship with Halloween time. I have a penchant for horror movies and I make it my goal to watch as many classics as possible, including “Halloween” itself, during the month of October. (They don’t share my enthusiasm in that regard.)

But I also get the big black bowl embroidered with tiny skeletons out of storage and fill it with miscellaneous candy, more than once even. A glass pumpkin sits on our coffee table holding an entire bag of candy corn mixed with peanuts. Fake spider webs are draped across our porch and a plastic skeleton hangs outside.

I love getting into the holiday spirit, but I loathe commercialism. I resent big businesses trying to make every single penny possible by attempting to force me into it earlier than necessary. Especially because they start Halloween early just so they can begin selling Christmas before Thanksgiving even approaches.

September is supposed to be a mostly summer kind of month. The end of it marks the beginning of the fall season. It’s when kids go back to school. It shouldn’t be the time we start putting stereotypical witches out in our front yards and buying ten tons of candy for more than it’s worth.

Holidays are supposed to be fun, but instead they’ve become more of a marketing ploy than could have ever been imagined and this is a great example of the manipulation of companies that sell Twix bars and Laffy Taffy. They have even put a spin on the Cadbury egg, placing green goo into the middle to “Halloween-ify” it.

Let’s take the time to enjoy life. Smell the fall air, go to an apple orchard, and bask in the crisp leaves of the backyard. Why don’t we celebrate fall before thrusting a holiday at our faces that is supposed to occur midway through it? If we continue to do this, we will be burned out. The pastimes we once enjoyed are going to become something awful, even dreaded. Maybe if we stop rushing, and the take the time to stop and absorb the each day, we will end up happier with the outcome.

So what’s the hurry? Holidays are meant for us to be grateful, surrounded by family, and enjoying laughter. That is something that cannot be sold, and never should be.