How the Grench stole Halloween
It had started with the snowfall. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that short-lived Ohio weather anomaly we experienced in mid-October was a harbinger of doom. Of fearsome events yet to come.
The signs were there and I just didn’t see them. Didn’t want to. After all, we’ve had snow in October before and the world continued on as we expected.
|There’s a new sheriff in town, ya’ll.
Apparently new sneakers, too. Heh, looks
like this mom spared no expense on
her homemade Halloween costume.
Ok sure, the last October snow was somewhere around twenty years ago as evidenced here in this shot of the Favorite Kid sporting his Trick-or-Treat gear back in the old neighborhood.
But still. The white stuff melted before lunchtime and became just a vague memory by the bustle of the evening commute home. It’s still October, we all said. No worries. Halloween will still go on just like it does every year at this time.
Turns out, I had sorely underestimated the power of the Holiday Grench.
What are you talking about now, you ask. The Holiday Grench?
Ah, a good question that. No, it’s not a typo. Well, not this time.
A rather upbeat kinda chick, with her starry eyes and silver tinsel hair, we’ve noticed that the Holiday Grench grows stronger every year. Unlike her more famous third cousin twice removed, instead of a heart two sizes too small, within our Grench’s chest beats a sugar plum heart. She just loves the Christmas season, but not necessarily in a healthy way. As is the manner of any maniacal, but misguided, visionary, the Grench wants you to embrace her shopping holiday, too. To drink her cup of wassail, so to speak.
And so to make this vision happen, she must feed on the nostalgic memories of those who yearn to enjoy any type of fall celebration.
Your neighbors put their Christmas lights on their house last weekend, she taunts me. And did you see? Amazon started their Black Friday sales. She playfully bounces an ornament off my head. So, do you have your tree up yet?
But …, I stammer. but, it’s not even Halloween yet.
That’s right, she laughs. Time to start your Christmas shopping! All your friends have already bought their first gift.
And just like the weather, everybody complains but nobody does anything about it. We stand by as holiday decorations are displayed right after Thanksgiving, then the next year we see artificial trees in early November to whet our shopping desires. And these days, the frost isn’t even on the pumpkin before we’re assailed with Jingle Bells on the outdoor speakers at the strip mall.
We don’t do anything about it, of course, because we can’t. The Grench has grown too powerful. Mere mortals such as us are no match for her subtleties. This holiday spirit is hungry for your fall festivities, because once conquered she can move onto Labor Day and beyond. The world will be her one big Shopping Day.
Every day will be Black Friday! says the Grench, tossing glittery bows in the air above. But only three of you will get the really good sale price! Bwahahahaha.
Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I really got the feeling she took a personal interest in my Halloween this year. I felt jinxed, like the joy was being sucked right out of my favorite time of year.
Ah, but this chick isn’t easily broken. Me, that is. I didn’t make it to this [bleeped] decade of life without learning some coping mechanisms, you know.
|Fergo is a dog outstanding in his . . . oh, good grief,
how old is that joke?
After the first foreboding snow, we found we needed to send Euka to the CCI Spa for a few weeks. No photos ops at the pumpkin farm for our only October with this pup, an event I’ve enjoyed with the other CCI puppies in our care.
Bent, but spirit not broken, we were blessed with an opportunity to dog-sit a favorite fellow, the sweet Fergo. At twelve years old, our hearty friend remains a lover of life. And road trips.
Another fall festivity favorite, Jager slips into his Warg alter ego to participate in the Howl-O-Ween Woof Walk to support Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association. The dictionary definition of cold and miserable, we got chilled to the bone that morning.
|Just so you know, says Jager. This counts as a bath.|
By we, I mean me and the Favorite Kid. I woefully underdressed and the hopes that the lukewarm coffee would help warm my inner core were washed away into the storm drains.
Oh, but not our little Jagerhund. The Master of the Hunt wore his orc upon his back with a sense of Warg warrior pride. Our little spotted dog soaked up the excitement of the morning like he hadn’t been out of the house for a week. Which is kinda true, the poor pooch. It was good to give the fellow a special day of his own, rainy mist notwithstanding.
Back at her Swarovski crystal lair, the Holiday Grench is shaking a glittery fist into the air. Nooooo, she cries out. You will start your Christmas shopping. You will, I say. Don’t you dare even try enjoying your autumn festivals. I will not be ignored! By the way, did you see your favorite shopping site has personalized photo gifts fifty percent off this week?
Then the triple-whammy. Out of desperation, this vengeful Spirit of the Holiday Yet to Come strikes back with the trifecta of an overwhelming work load, longer commutes to the office, and then the worst slam of all … inclement weather.
So no spare time and little energy to carve a pumpkin even if I did have an empty moment. And then what the heck, Grench? A monsoon in land-locked Ohio? On Beggar’s Night? What is wrong with you?
Heh, but take this, you spiteful spirit. I stand here and say to all that it is indeed possible to carve a pumpkin in twenty minutes during a lunch period at work. It helps if you’re working from home, of course. I mean, all my carving tools are here. And the pumpkin. And while I haven’t tested the theory, I’m throwing out the educated guess that neither would be welcome in the office atmosphere.
I gutted the big orange gourd on Tuesday night, roasted the pepita de calabazas (pumpkin seeds to you non-pretentious people) on Wednesday after work and finally carved a face into the non-sentient being on Friday at lunchtime. Then Friday evening I was able to get some photos of the thing before sundown. No matter that it was November 1 when I completed this task. I got ‘er done, I did.
And anyway, because of the weather situation on October 31st, a few communities moved their Beggar’s Night to the weekend. (Open letter to our humble burg: You guys should have done that too, you know). So I figure it’s like a belated birthday card. It makes it extra special and festive to extend the holiday for another day or two, right?
With a mug of reheated potato soup steaming next to my pumpkin, I create an evil Jack O’Lantern to ward off that creeping winter holiday for another day.
|Oh c’mon, says Micron. It’s not like I have an Off switch for the good looks.|
|I do, however, short circuit from time to time, he admits.|
|Zoiks! cries Micron. Don’t look behind you! It’s … it’s The Holiday Shopping Season!|
I was going to whine on about the unfortunality of no decent Halloween movies on the tube as well. But then Zombieland was on. Oh, and Paranormal Activity 2. The latter of which had me sleeping on the sofa with the lights on because I freaked myself out too much to go upstairs. Now that’s a good Halloween, people.