Halanksmas… the new holidays

christmas 2007
christmas (Photo credit: paparutzi)

On November 2, I walked into my local grocery store to pick up a few things and stopped dead in my tracks. There I stood surrounded by half-off Halloween candy, looking at gigantic cans of pumpkin pie filling (who uses that stuff?) and I was hearing…

Christmas music!

Gah! It’s too early for this! And it wasn’t just one song. The holiday tunes went on and on. At the checkout, I asked the young lady what was up? And how many complaints had she gotten about this stuff? Her response was an exhausted eye roll and a quietly muttered “oh, you have no idea! Everyone hates this.”

It sounds trivial, but I couldn’t shake the sense that there was something dreadfully wrong with this. I’ve worked in industries where you start thinking Christmas right around July. But that doesn’t mean the consumer has to hear it that early. It seems to me that in the effort to be the first, the best, the biggest, the baddest, publishers, retail stores, everyone, is starting Christmas stuff earlier and earlier every year.

Stop it! If we keep going down this path we won’t have any recognizable holidays left. Thanks to the simultaneous onslaught of ghosts, goblins, gobblers and jolly old fat men in red suits, I’ve dubbed the last three months of the year Halanksmas (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Go ahead and figure out how to roll Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in there as well. What the heck, we’re all inclusive around here.

On those lines, here is my prediction for the future of holidays.

New Val Pat’s Day – starting around the middle of December and running through mid-March is this epic celebration of new beginnings, love and the luck of the Irish. It’s a great excuse for drinking, indulging in too much chocolate, kissing, pinching those not wearing green and oh yes, more drinking.

EasMaFa – close on the heels of New Val Pat’s Day is this springtime holiday that celebrates birth and parenting. It stretches from mid-March through to mid-June and children are particularly fond of the early parts of the celebration that include visits from a secretive, anthropomorphic rabbit who hides eggs and chocolate for them to find. Moms tend to enjoy the hand-made gifts their children give them and of course, a (burnt) breakfast in bed followed by dinner out. Dads can look forward to more bad ties.

Patriotic Season – stretching from the old Memorial Day through Labor Day, the summer months are filled with flag celebrations, parades, fireworks and picnics. Red, white and blue will be everywhere and will be amply punctuated with luau and other beach themes. This also coincides with summer vacation. Toward the end of the season, expect to see promotions for the following season…

Fall Season – starting in the still-sweltering days of August, you will start to see sweaters and fall accessories filling shelves, along with lots of plaid. The season starts with Back-to-School days and continues through the early parts of Halanksmas.

Sports Seasons – these are peppered throughout the year and overlap other holidays and seasons. In America, baseball and football are the primary sports, starting with baseball’s Spring Training and running all the way through the Super Bowl. Non-sports fans may get a short reprieve during the time between Super Bowl and the start of Spring Training.

High Sales Days – throughout the year, there are things like Columbus Day, President’s Day and other “days” that at one point meant something, but that have become nothing more than an excuse for yet another sale promotion. Oh, and for the Federal Government to shut down, and for no mail delivery.