Lynne Cope Hummell

Remember the good old days when Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years’ Eve happened within about two months weeks of one another?

What has happened that these holidays now start five months in advance of their assigned spots on the calendar?

Does anyone else find it disturbing that Dracula and French maid costumes are on the next aisle over from the plethora of school supplies in July? Or that pumpkin motifs are merchandised along with end-of-summer sales on swimwear?

I must say it’s handy that pumpkins serve well for both Halloween and Thanksgiving, but it seems logical that we could hold off on needing them until the average daily temp drops below 98 degrees.

I began seeing red and green in August, but someone told me a local big box store had Christmas items on display in early July. Isn’t that a little soon? Why do these major holidays happen all at once now?

We know time flies as we get older. But is it really necessary to start celebrating Christmas in July, a full five months before the big day?

The craziness has exploded far beyond the clever mashup of the December events called “Christmahanakwanzica.” Now it’s a fall-winter abomination to sell more stuff.

Are most of us really that well-organized that we need red and green ribbon to make a Christmas wreath while we’re watching Independence Day fireworks? Shouldn’t we at least watch a football game before we buy our 2020 New Year’s noisemakers and goofy hats?

A local merchant posted an almost-apology recently about the nativity scenes, ornaments and Christmas plates already on display in the store in late August. “Our vendors send us these samples in July, and we have no place to store them,” the store owner explained.

If vendors are sending Christmas in July, it means they know there are those out there who insist on being that shallow nimrod who considers it an achievement to be the first to get the lights and the inflatable Frosty up in the front yard.

So how do we reasonable types help stop the madness? Easy. We stop buying it. At least until there’s a nip in the air.

Other holidays are not jammed together like this. Valentine’s Day has the decency to wait until after the confetti of New Years’ Eve has disintegrated into compost. It does not commingle with St. Patrick’s Day. If it did, it would be like even more Christmas in FebruMarch, with all that red and green.

Easter hops along in spring, always on a Sunday, and determined by the first full moon after March 21, unless that is also on a Sunday, if the date is not divisible by four and the clouds turn pink and unicorns fly untethered. (Note: Only the first part of that sentence is true; the rest, however, seems almost as pertinent to the calculation.)

But nobody messes with Easter, and rightly so.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are nicely separated by a month, and they both sneak up on the average consumer. But that’s fine! There is something special about receiving the last possible card left on the rack at the all-night convenience store: “For someone who is a female and might be a mother. Or not.”

Dads and grads tend to get shuffled together in June, but at least the slogan rhymes. And the preferred gifts are the same – just send cash, sporting event tickets and beer.

When we say we “wish the Christmas spirit would last all year long,” do we really mean it? Yes, sort of. But we meant only the joy and togetherness part, not the “gotta have that now” shopping mentality.

Can we not just step back, take a deep breath and enjoy one holiday at a time?