Yes, it is that time of year. Department stores juggle the upcoming event of Halloween with fall decorations, Thanksgiving accessories, Hannukah and Christmas bells and baubles. It is a chaotic crash site of celebration, with piles of candy corn mixing with tiny chocolate Santas. Nervous consumers fear that each sale on holiday fare is the last one, so they pile their carts with mini-lights, mennorahs, scarecrows, and sleighs. There is so much candy my teeth hurt just walking down the aisles. It is Hallothanksmas in all its glory.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for business owners.
Turn Down the Lights!
I lost my taste for glitzy combo-holidays a long time ago. But I have to admit I still dress up for Halloween. When I don a costume on that day, people tell me how wonderful that I am still a kid at heart. If I put on the same costume in July, they would call the police and protect their children.
Today my childcare charges met me with their Christmas lists in hand. “It isn’t even Halloween yet!” I said to the oldest.
“I know,” he said, “But I need to get my order in early.”
Santa doesn’t get a break to put on a sheet and go trick or treating? He doesn’t get to sit down with Mrs. Claus and all the elfkins and eat turkey and mashed potatoes and pie until he can’t breathe?
Nope. Hallothanksmas is underway, and there is no rest for the witch/turkey/big guy in red.
When my boys grew up and flew away, I started letting go of holiday decorations and traditional big dinners. We live in different states, and often my holidays were spent alone with the dog. And I started thinking about how I could really cut back on the expense of holiday meals and decorations.
Honestly, I don’t miss it at all. I would rather save the cash so I can spend it on tickets to see my sons, visit other countries, or see a great play or concert. I have a great time without it – I find decorations created by Mother Nature to be much more beautiful than an air-filled Christmas Micky Mouse in a yard full of plastic candy canes.
Tips on Surviving Hallothanksmas
This year, consider sidestepping those crazy Hallothanksmas displays and look for ways to celebrate without going into debt.
- Gather fall leaves and branches for a display and ditch the fancy candle and plastic wreath.
- Buy one type of Halloween candy to distribute instead of dozens of choices (in fact, try making a fabulous homemade treat and continue the tradition so local kids look forward to it every year).
- Make paper chains for the tree – I tell about my own paper chain here.
- Ask loved ones to forego the gifts you no longer need or want and donate to your Financial Freedom fund. Or ask if they would prefer a little green in their stockings instead of stuff they may not appreciate.
- If you must buy candy or decorations, look for the ones that will transition to the next holiday – white candles or mini-lights will work for all holidays.
- Spend quality time with loved ones instead of shopping!