Hold onto your wallet, hallothanksmas is here. I can already see my bank account shrinking from the demands of the next two months.
According to the online Urban Dictionary:
“Hallothanksmas is an event running from early October to New Year’s Eve. Due to peoples obsessive need to start the holidays earlier and earlier, the three holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have merged into one huge morass of shopping.”
As the leaves began turning color in September, I saw it creeping in. The big box stores, drug stores, grocery stores, and department stores started promoting what used to be three separate holidays with displays of goods competing for shelf space.
Since October 31, I can no longer listen to my favorite Sirrus XM radio station unless I want to be bombarded with endless versions of Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Both Hallmark channels on cable TV plan to broadcast nonstop Christmas movies until after New Year’s Day. How many ways can a man meet a woman, fall in love, and get married just in time for Christmas?
I am not a Grinch and I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas too, but the overload can rob me of the joy of the season. Thanksgiving somehow gets lost in the shuffle between the candy corn and candy canes. It makes me sad because I enjoy that holiday the most.
So how do I cope with hallothanksmas?
- Try to set realistic expectations. Don’t expect a Norman Rockwell holiday when you know that is not going to happen. Time with family and friends is very important during the holidays. However, trying to accommodate everyone’s schedules and wishes can be very stressful.
- Plan ahead and ask for help where needed. Expect everyone to make a contribution to meals and parties. Set a budget for gifts and other expenses.
- Count my blessings and thank God every day that we still are able to do many of the things we love to do this time of year.
- Take care of myself. Keep away from too much junk food, exercise when possible, and get enough sleep.
- Take time to pray and worship in private and at church so that the spirit of the season can wash over my soul.