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Halloween: The Gateway Drug of the Holiday Season

After spending a good part of the year in isolation (thanks COvid!), this picture captures my joy and happiness with being back together with friends (in a safe way, of course) and preparing for one of my favorite holidays… Halloween!

We had lovely weather. The kids were well behaved. We had pumpkins for carving (to those of you who were there, let's keep my grumbling about the difficulty of pumpkin carving our little secret 🤪 ). And, the seasons first batch of chili was enjoyed by all.

A day or so later our wonderfully carved pumpkins started to be devoured by the squirrels… Something that we've never had happened to us before. A few more days later and we were greeted by The Great Pumpkin Massacre of 2020:

“C'est la vie,” I thought while silently grimacing at the thought of the effort that was put in to acquiring the pumpkins and carving a witch into the side of my pumpkin. “We’ll just have to get some more pumpkins to carve!”, my son calmly stated.

I tried, like any good parent, to not roll my eyes. The thought of carving more pumpkins made me twitch. No way in h*ll was I going to be carving more pumpkins this year. Doing the whole thing AGAIN was just going to add unnecessary stress to my life that I was unwilling to take on as we were getting ready to head in to the winter holiday season.

The whole thing made me realize…

Halloween is the gateway drug of the holiday season.

It comes at time when we've all settled into the school/work routine and year-end business activities haven’t quite started. We’re feeling a bit more relaxed than we were a month or so before. And, there's not really a lot of planning and preparation that goes into Halloween - sure there are costumes to buy, decorations to put up, and maybe a gathering to plan, but it’s pretty chill compared to the winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, etc.).

It manages to lull us into this false sense of security… This belief that this year planning and prepping for the winter holidays is going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy. So we commit. We commit to this being the best holiday season yet. We commit to diving in to it, gettin’ it done and CRUSHING IT. And then…

BAM! November 1 hits…

…and we're wondering why we don't have our Thanksgiving menu planned and all of the holiday gift buying completed. The Halloween decorations are still up while we are digging out the “We Give Thanks For…” tree and trying to determine when we are going to get our annual picture with Santa (which, oh crap, might have to be done via Zoom this year!). And as we are doing the mental juggling act of what needs to get done and when, the notifications for benefits enrollment and year-end performance reviews and fourth quarter close start to flood our Inbox. It is then that it becomes apparent.

We have been duped, yet again, by Halloween…the gateway drug of the holiday season.


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