What if we rearranged our holiday celebrations?

Published 5:23 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

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I was listening to music on Youtube recently when a random ad popped up before one of the videos declaring that “Fall is already here” and it urged me to start buying all my Fall/Halloween decorations.

Already here?! It was definitely still August when I heard the ad, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think I’d count one of the hottest months of the year as Fall. Every tree still has green leaves and I’m still melting in 90+ degree heat when I step outside.

Even though students are heading back to school now, it still feels like summer to me. Everyone probably has their own way to marking the seasons, but to me, Fall doesn’t officially start until the cotton is almost ready for harvest. So we still have a few weeks left!

I’ve written about this before, but our society does seem to have an eagerness to start celebrating things early. For example, Starbucks brings back their popular Pumpkin Spice Lattes (a flavor that is rapidly becoming synonymous with Fall too) in August each year, despite the fact that real pumpkins are still growing in gardens across the country.

Just recently, I noticed a display of candy in the grocery store, all packaged in bright orange with Halloween-inspired designs on the outside. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to start buying Halloween candy at the beginning of September. I’d definitely eat all the candy myself before the end of October if I did.

But if we all want to commit to celebrating things earlier and earlier, I propose that we just bump up each holiday in the calendar year. Here are a few of my silly suggestions:

Halloween and all of its spooky celebrations can be bumped up to February. Have fun guessing whether that chill in your bones is from listening to a scary ghost story or just the winter temperatures. Instead of pumpkins, try carving up other seasonal vegetables… like cabbage and collards. That’ll certainly provide more of a challenge than a regular old pumpkin! And maybe if we’re lucky, it’ll snow and the kids can enjoy trick-or-treating as they dash through snow drifts. (Rowdy teenagers, of course, can throw snow balls instead of eggs or toilet paper at people’s houses. That would be much easier to clean up at least.)

Thanksgiving can be celebrated in May. Forgo the comfy sweaters for a stretchy pair of shorts as you gobble down the traditional feast of food. And if we move Thanksgiving up early enough in May, the local hunters will be able to get their own turkeys right out of the woods before the annual hunting season ends. No need to keep it in your freezer for months! And after you eat all you can eat for Thanksgiving, you can lull yourself to sleep watching baseball instead of football.

With “Christmas in July” already sort of a thing, it would be no problem to move Christmas up permanently to the middle of the year. Christmas lights and decorations can be just as pretty during the summer as they are during winter (though, I suppose anything resembling snowflakes and icicles might look just a bit out of place.) Summertime Christmas celebrations might even make it easier to visit faraway family members, since everyone’s making vacation plans anyway. But on the other hand, we will probably have to write some new Christmas songs. After all, I think it’ll be very difficult to try “dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh” after a summer thunderstorm has just rolled through.

St. Patrick’s Day can be bumped back from March to October. Not much would change for this holiday (because, well, we don’t really do much to celebrate it anyway), but the abundance of green (clothes, beers, the river in Chicago) would be a nice change of pace from nature’s usual color scheme of oranges, yellows, and browns that time of year.

While we’re shuffling holidays earlier, it wouldn’t be a problem to celebrate Independence Day in January. Of course, July 4 would still mark the actual anniversary of our country’s declaration of independence, but a fun fireworks display can be launched any time of year. Why not in January? We can kick off the new year with a dash of patriotism too. If the weather’s too dreary and cold during the month, we can always liven things up with a big Independence Day cookout!

Lastly, since there aren’t any holidays in August usually, I suggest that Valentine’s Day be moved there. The heat might make chocolate gifts melt, but you can always gift your beloved with whatever flowers are in season (Morning glories? Crepe myrtles?) or whatever veggies are still alive in your garden if you have one. (Who doesn’t love a gift of twenty bell peppers? Super romantic!) And if you’d like to go on a romantic getaway, all the warmer options will be closer to home than they are in February. Why travel all the way to the Caribbean when you can just step outside for a few moments and experience the muggy sunshine?

But perhaps the best part of celebrating Valentine’s Day in August would be that you could simply express your love through the gift of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Okay, well, now that I think about it. Maybe the holidays are just fine in their current placements on the calendar after all. Maybe in the future, we can be less eager to skip ahead to the next season!

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.