Halloween, Christmas, and the Art of Patience

Every year, as soon as Halloween ends, stores will put away the jack-o-lanterns to make way for advent calendars and gingerbread house kids. And every year, this inevitably ignites the age-old debate: how soon is too soon to begin celebrating the winter holidays? Now, for those who begin singing Christmas carols as soon as the trick-or-treaters turn in for the night, I feel for you. December is one of the coziest times of the year, and the holidays bring with them a feeling of nostalgia and joy that you want to extend for as long as possible.

Yet there’s so much that you miss when you’re focused on leapfrogging this quickly from one season to the next. Fall is arguably the most aesthetic season of the year, and changing leaves bathe the world in crimson and orange. Colder weather brings the perfect opportunity to accessorize with cute sweaters or a pair of boots. Even the food is better – can anyone say apple cider and pumpkin spice? 

That’s not even mentioning Thanksgiving, which is so often overlooked in favor of “flashier” holidays or even Black Friday deals. In a society that is so steeped in consumerism, it’s important to take a break to appreciate the wonderful things that we already have. Getting to sit around a table with your closest loved ones and overeat is one of the best ways to celebrate being alive. 

I think that the obsession with celebrating holidays months in advance feeds into a bigger aspect of American culture: the desire to rush from one place to the next. We’re often so preoccupied with accomplishing the next thing on our agenda, whether that be graduate school or a promotion, that we forget to focus on the here and now. Life will fly by regardless, so there’s no need to speed it along. Instead of finding happiness in things that will happen in the future, try to find beauty in the things that are already right in front of you. I promise that it’s worth it.