Happy holidays. I have a problem with this phrase. It’s not because I think people who say it are devil-worshippers who can’t stand to utter the word, “Christmas.” The whole movement is about inclusion and political correctness and all that, but it’s not blasphemous. It’s not like most people refuse to speak the name of the holiday. I mean, how many people do you know who wake up their children on December 25th with, “Come open your presents, kids, it’s Holiday Day!”? No, the reason I can’t stand “Happy Holidays” greetings is because of the imprecision of the sentiment. America celebrates various innocuous dates all throughout the year. When does it become appropriate to begin wishing someone an enjoyable holiday season? Aren’t we always in a holiday season?
That brings me to my next annoyance. I’m not trying to be a Scrooge here, but I think the American holiday crisis needs to be addressed. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against turkey, Times Square, or a fat man who stalks children, listens to their secrets while they sit on his lap, and then breaks into their houses in the middle of the night. (I might have to reconsider that last one). But, you have to admit that we have some pretty weird holidays. I mean who cares about Christopher Columbus enough to dedicate an entire 24 hours to his memory? The man was actually pretty savage. (I’m sorry, that was probably insensitive, but I like puns, so I’m not taking it back). But, the point is that holidays are pretty much a constant presence of varying degrees of confusion. And they also really aren’t “holy-days” so that’s just false advertising.
So here we are. It’s Halloween, the most unholy holiday of them all. Pretty much everyone knows the history behind All Saints Day, a time when the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of church influencers who have died. We hear the story, acknowledge it, and continue to dress up in monster costumes and demand candy from strangers like this is a completely rational thing to do once a year. It’s not. But it sure is fun. I may not understand the reasoning behind many modern holiday traditions, but that isn’t gonna stop me from blissfully partaking in something as exciting as a nation-wide sugar coma.
Anyway I’m not about to miss an excuse to play dress-up. And the best thing about pointless holidays like Halloween is the decorating. Holidays are an excellent excuse to throw a pumpkin in the middle of the dining room table or stick a giant heart on the wall. The lead-up to the holiday is usually more exciting than the actual event because we are trained to do certain things that get us in the “spirit.” The spirit of what exactly? Don’t ask, that’s not the important part. My apartment is full of orange lights and the sounds of “Monster Mash” and “This Is Halloween.” And it’s not because I am a Halloween fanatic. There is just something about a holiday, any holiday, which lightens the mood, even for just a day. It doesn’t actually have anything to do with ghosts or zombies (although I am a major fan of the dead, undead, half-dead, etc. I don’t discriminate). The feeling in the air is derived from something completely unrelated to the topic of the occasion. Maybe it comes from picking out a group costume with friends. Maybe it’s from the joy on children’s (and my own) faces at the sight of the multitude of candy. Or maybe it’s just the change of scenery and focus for a season. Whatever the reason, whatever the irrational history of any given celebration, holidays just make us feel good. That feeling may very well be the result of taste bud euphoria. But after all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about? But, that’s probably just the sugar high talking…