(Stock image/Metro Creative Connection)

(Stock image/Metro Creative Connection)

The winter holidays are clustered too closely


How is it December already?

I don’t know who was in charge of organizing the calendar and deciding where all the major holidays would fall but they need to be fired. Alright, I realize there is a lot of complicated history surrounding holidays, but seriously, what a giant cluster … muddle.

It all starts with too much turkey on Thanksgiving, followed shortly by Halloween and its accompanying candy hangovers, with Remembrance Day right on its heels and a mere six panic-induced weeks later it’s Christmas, followed by the too-eager New Years Eve literally no one asked for. Then, before you’ve even taken down your Christmas tree you’re expected to shop for cinnamon hearts.

It’s crazy to me that you can be carving pumpkins and making last-minute costume adjustments one week, and less than two weeks later, be switching out severed heads for Santa and his reindeer for your lawn ornaments (though a combination of the two wouldn’t hurt my feelings).

With the first snow of the season making its debut immediately on Nov. 1, like that annoying party guest that doesn’t ascribe to the fashionably-late philosophy, some were stuck trying to exhume their spooky-but-lovable inflatables from under a mountain of snow and wondering what to do with frozen pumpkins.

Here’s a revolutionary idea: why not hold Halloween in July or August while the weather is still warm enough kids can actually show off their costumes? If you’re a stickler for the proper observance of Samhain you could still have a bonfire and feast at the appropriate time … (with a burn permit of course).

Remembrance Day is certainly an important holiday to mark with all due respect and ceremony. For some, however, the very next day marks the start of the Christmas season and means it’s time to deck the halls, house and yard in customary garlands, lights and tinsel.

These may be fighting words to some, but I’m not particularly attached to Thanksgiving, New Years Eve or Valentines Day. Don’t come for me, but they seem a bit superfluous.

Thanksgiving is basically a rehearsal dinner for Christmas and has been reduced to an excuse to eat an exorbitant amount, while the merits of the origin of the holiday are shaky at best and nowadays is little more than Turkey Day or watching football.

Having it in October in Canada is bad enough, but for Americans it’s even worse, coming a month before Christmas — arguably the biggest holiday of the year.

Christmastime is magical but also comes with a hefty price tag. Gift shopping can leave you diving under couch cushions looking for coins so you can afford coffee until the next pay cheque.

New Years is fine, I guess. It’s kind of like that middle-aged overachiever who finished second in their class during their “glorious” college years and can’t let go of nostalgia or living in the shadow of their more impressive classmate, but hey, whatever works for you. He doesn’t put in much effort throughout the year, but once in a while tries to fit in his graduation suit for a class reunion. Yeah, he’s that guy.

Valentines has the same problem. Once a year, this “Casanova” overspends to try to convince their mate that they’re a real catch and to stay with them once the chocolates are gone and the flowers have died. Real romantic.

We should all make like the bear — a noble and sensible creature — and hibernate for the four-to-six months of the year when the air hurts your face. It could be a winter-long festival of doing nothing, seeing no one and going nowhere. Ah bliss; we could call it “Hibermania.” There would be snugly blankets, hot chocolate, lit fireplaces and lots of books. Ahhh, I can feel the dopamine levels rising just imagining it.

In all seriousness, holidays serve an important purpose in a healthy, functional society: they give us something to look forward to, turn our focus to family and friends and the well-being of others, and give us something to celebrate within the otherwise mundane.

Sometimes they are even about overcoming family dysfunction; making better memories with the next generation and giving them a sense of security within comforting traditions and familiar rituals.

I don’t want to write off holidays, I just wish they were more spread out and perhaps held within the warmer months of the year — if not for pity of perpetually cold people everywhere, then for all of our wallets’ sakes.

However you choose to celebrate here’s hoping you’re ready for the holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Seasons Greetings.

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