It's hard to believe that the year is already in the second-to-last month. I've been building and building towards halloween, filling my days with decorations and crafts and spooky movies, and in one rather uneventful night it's all done with. Holidays are all like that, really. The anticipation and building towards them is almost always better than the day itself.
Then it's over, suddenly, in a span of hours. You wake up the next morning and realize that you'll have to take all of those decorations down. Throw away the jack-o-lanterns that have started to fall in on themselves. Take down the lights. Wrap and pack all of the little glass skulls and ghosts and pumpkins.
This time of year there is no rest to be had. I was in Target on Saturday and they were already playing Christmas music. The TV is full of ads for jewelry and toys, and they've started putting up garlands at the malls. Soon Christmas will become a relentless hammer of advertising and decorations, beating everyone into holly-jolly submission.
I am of course excited about the prospect of decorating for Christmas this year. It's our first house together, and I'm picturing where I'll put the tree, and how I'll put snowmen on the staircase and wrap the banister with garland. I've started stitching lots of little ornaments out of felt and beads and turning my eye towards gifts.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a break, though. To space things out a little more, to relax and breath in between the holidays. Instead the time from September to January becomes a constant bombardment of the senses, where we go from shrieking ghouls to laughing santas, with a turkey and some pilgrims thrown in somewhere in the middle. It's also a time where you start to feel, more than anything, what you do not have and must sacrifice in favor of necessary things. It's been a hard year for a lot of people, and for many it will only get worse.
On the other hand, perhaps having the holidays all bunched together like this is easier in some ways. In a three month span it's done with, over, gone for another whole year. You can pack away the decorations and forget about the whole thing, until Fall comes around again and suddenly the stores smell like cinnamon and cloves, and everything turns into a riot of color and want, want, want.
Today when I go home I'll pack away all of my halloween things, and eat whatever candy was left over after the horde of trick-or-treaters last night. I don't bother decorating for Thanksgiving. My only interest in that particular holiday is the dinner that my sister makes, and the introduction of pumpkin pie into my diet. Soon enough Thanksgiving will come and go, and the very next day I'll put up my first Christmas tree.
I'll miss my jack-o-lanterns, though.