America's Merging Holidays

More than a month before Halloween, costumes, pumpkins, and decorations appeared in stores. The displays were huge and, in my opinion, disproportionate to the Halloween tradition. Weeks passed and more Halloween merchandise arrived, including tree limbs and pumpkin ornaments to hang on them. Had merchandisers confused Halloween with Christmas? November came, and the holiday confusion continued. I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and wanted something "Thanksgiving-ish" to put in the center of our dinner table. "We don't have much Thanksgiving merchandise," a florist told me. "It's all about Christmas." She was right, for when I went to other stores I couldn't find a suitable decoration. Finally, I returned to the florist and bought two bird figurines, one a cardinal on a pine cone (very Christmas looking), and a sparrow on an acorn (sort of Thanksgiving-ish).

America has wonderful holidays, traditions that honor those who came before us and educate those who come after us. Holiday confusion doesn't help the younger generation. We need to acknowledge each holiday for what it represents. Let's stop the confusion and get back to holiday basics. A neighbor on my cul-de-sac put up their Christmas lights today. That won't happen at our house. The Christmas wreath will go up after Thanksgiving, just as it should, and the members of my family will enjoy Thanksgiving together.