All right, everyone together on three.
One … two …
Whew. The holidays are over.
Two straight months of holidays finally in the books. What? You thought it was just a few weeks? Oh no, no, no.
The holidays, these days, begin just before Halloween, before strings of orange and yellow Halloween lights begin to adorn homes. Those with children in school will recall double-take after noticing on the calendar that Halloween and the following Friday would be days off school.
While they were noted as in-service days or some such thing, it sure felt like the kids were given their second favorite holiday off this year.
Halloween last more than a night, of course. Everyone knows how this works. Get gussied up for trick-or-treating, make a huge candy haul, then fight with siblings for the next week or so over whose bowl of candy is bigger and how that one remaining chocolate bar mysteriously changed bowls. It’s a joyous time when the longer you can be awake before Mom and Dad get out of bed, the more candy you can surreptitiously sneak in the early morning hours.
By the time the plastic swords are broken (a hap-hap-happy day for parents), it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving. Whether traveling or not, this is obviously a holiday for the grownups. Ten to 12 visits to the grocery store to buy way too much food, and we are ready. Get the bird in the oven early, get the summer sausage and smoked cheddar sliced and the football schedule memorized.
Of course, the TV usually is tuned to “Sofia the First” or “Adventure Time” while the much-anticipated games are airing, but that’s besides the point.
Oddly enough, Christmas began before Thanksgiving even ended this year, as retailers advanced their sales to Turkey Day Evening. Black Thursday tightened its hold on Americans this year — I’m afraid there’s no turning back.
So, even in the waning days of November, men around the nation already were thinking about gifts they had not yet purchased for their wives — trying in vain to remember that one hint they dropped in June about what they really wanted. It was neither a piece of furniture nor some sort of appliance, trust me on this one.
For a solid month, we were bombarded by Shopping Season marketing — messages designed to ensure we would never be whole without a Bluetooth speaker or watch that not only answers your phone, but also tells time.
It was a long month.
Then, New Year’s Eve was around the corner. While Christmas is that most wonderful time of the year, Dec. 31 for many was the night of “Hmmm, maybe I should have made some plans.”
But we are through the gauntlet, friends. We made it through another holiday season, one that started earlier than ever before — until next year, that is.
Think about your holidays, for many driven more by Wall Street and Walmart this year than tradition and faith.
If you remember a thing, I’m sorry.
If you remember a face, a laugh, a hug, a shared tear, a long-forgotten anecdote reborn — congratulations.
You did it right. No matter how early we shop, how much time is spent buying rather than living, if you kept family and friend at there top of the list — you deserve a pat on the back.
Happy Holidays, readers. Go ahead and buy your sweetie a Valentine’s Day gift and mark that one off your calendar. Then rest up until Halloween.
It’ll be here before you know it.
Ron Fields is news and information director at Eagle Communications. firstname.lastname@example.org