Halloween and the Joy of Giving
I’ve never really been that into Halloween. Dressing up is not really my thing and having all that candy around is just too much temptation for me. I do like seeing cute kids in their costumes but we don’t seem to have many in our neighborhood so the last thing I want to do is buy a big bag of candy and put it by the front door, knowing that I’ll only get a handful of trick-or-treaters and end up eating the rest myself.
And I gotta say, not a big fan of commercialism either. Apparently Halloween is No. 2 on the list of money spent and waste produced–just behind Christmas. Now that’s a holiday. Not that I am big on excessive spending and waste, not at all. The Christmas of my dreams is a much more sustainable one that doesn’t clog up our landfills.
So anyway, Halloween comes around and that just gets me started thinking about Christmas because I am a total nerd and I have my own little tradition of getting my holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving or at least by Dec. 1.
I do this for two reasons. First, because it drives my sister absolutely crazy! I mean, what’s more fun than spending almost a full month torturing someone with the knowledge that you are done with your shopping while she speeds around in a mad rush trying to get it all done?
The second reason (and this is the real reason) is that I hate the holiday crowds and the rampant commercialism, and I don’t want to choose presents for my loved ones in a frenzied atmosphere. I happen to love giving gifts, and I want to enjoy it.
I am also the type of person who sees things throughout the year that would make good gifts and buys them right then, putting them away in my closet for the appropriate gift-giving occasion. (This makes things so much easier, and is also much easier on the pocketbook come holiday time.) So part of my ritual this time of year is to see what presents I’ve already bought, make a list and then take my time picking out the perfect things to finish up.
Once that’s done, I can pull out my stash of recycled ribbons, gift bags and wrapping paper that I saved from last year and have a good time making the presentation of each present just perfect. Then I can spend December reveling in the holiday parties, decorating and enjoying the extra family closeness–and of course, torturing my sister!