Only two things can stop Christmas from starting too early: Cthulhu and Festivus

Halloween is over. Which can only mean one thing.

Cheap candy.

Okay, it means two things. Cheap candy and the start of the Christmas season.

Remember back in the day when Christmas season didn’t start until after Thanksgiving? Well if 40 is the new 30 and gray is the new black, I guess Halloween is the new Thanksgiving. Because somehow it’s Christmas already.

I know what you’re thinking. “Sara, stop being such a Grinch just because you’re Jewish.”

It has nothing to do with being Jewish. And I think the Grinch is a totally racist character. He hates Christmas and is the color of money? Dr. Seuss was really an anti-Semitic bastard!

Although, we should have known that already. One of his most famous books is extolling the virtues of ham. And in the end, the anti-pork character decides that he LOVES ham and stops eating kosher. Anti-Jewish propaganda much?

(Not really. Dr. Seuss was actually VERY outspoken against the Nazis during World War II. Big friend to the Jews, despite being of German ancestry.)

I don’t actually mind Christmas. Red is my favorite color. And I like going to the movies. I’m not a HUGE Chinese food fan, but that’s okay, because my family tends to go out for Indian food or sushi on Christmas these days. And I like presents, no matter what the occasion. I’m also a big fan of any event that causes sales. I’m even okay with Christmas taking up an entire month. I don’t LOVE it, but I’ve learned to accept it.

I’m not okay with it starting the second Halloween ends.

Not cool people, not cool.

My newspaper kids have already started playing Christmas music at school. Granted, they’re smart about it, because they know that I’ll tolerate Springsteen’s Christmas songs MUCH longer than any other holiday music.  But if I hear Mariah Carey doing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” one more freaking time, I’m going to lose it. And it’s only November 5th!

I blame Thanksgiving for the expansion of Christmas. Back in the day, a holiday based on eating massive quantities with your family was a big enough event to hold Christmas at bay until the very end of November. But now that everyone is so obsessed with eating right and avoiding obesity, Thanksgiving seems to have lost some of its power as a holiday.

Think about it. Even though a lot of people say it’s their favorite holiday, it’s like trying to hold off Christmas with Flag Day. It’s just not strong enough to keep Christmas in its place. Halloween does a good job of preventing Christmas from creeping into October because picking out a costume takes a lot of time and effort. If not for Halloween, I’m pretty sure people would be leaving Christmas lights up year round and we’d have Santa and Rudolph-themed bathing suits and beach towels by now.

Maybe I would feel differently if Christmas meant more to me than movies and Asian cuisine. Because Hanukkah isn’t much of a holiday. It’s kinda like the Jewish equivalent of the 4th of July.  It’s a holiday built around the idea of getting together with people you care about, eating fried food, and lighting stuff on fire to commemorate a military victory. There’s no reason for the presents other than to keep Jewish kids from feeling left out. But even though we love the presents, it’s not possible to get as into Hanukkah as it is Christmas.

But I have a couple of ideas about how to keep Christmas from creeping further and further into the rest of the year. (It’s like the boiler in the Shining. It creeps. Please tell me SOMEONE reading this—other than my parents—knows what I’m talking about! Please. Leave me a comment or email me if you get the joke. It’ll make me very happy. Even if I don’t know you. Just let me know you’re alive out there, okay?)

Idea #1: we bulk up Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is like a dyke with a hole in it (I mean the Holland kind of dyke! Get your minds out of the gutter). If you can plug the hole, it’ll hold the flood waters back. But otherwise, we’re screwed. So we need to make Thanksgiving a stronger holiday. There are several ways to do this. We could go the Easter route and come up with super random mascots for the holiday. Like the Thanksgiving duck-billed platypus. He brings baby snakes and Ugg boots to good little children. (Hey, it’s no more random than a bunny bringing eggs for Easter!)

We could also incorporate a fear angle into it. Celebrate Thanksgiving just right or a horrible, evil creature will come and destroy mankind. I’d like to suggest the Dark and Mighty Cthulhu (thank you South Park).

If people had to worry about Cthulhu coming to destroy the Earth, you’d better believe they’d would leave Christmas alone until Thanksgiving was over! Praise the Dark Cthulhu, long may he reign!

But for those of you purists out there who want to keep Thanksgiving as a non-religious or fear-based holiday (which, to be honest, it shouldn’t be. It wasn’t a happy occasion for the Native Americans. The pilgrims came bearing the gift of smallpox. What crappy houseguests!), there’s another answer: we need a new holiday between Halloween and Christmas.

Yes.

It’s time to make Festivus official.

Now, in MY family, we already incorporate parts of Festivus into Thanksgiving. We certainly have the Airing of Grievances (usually aimed at me, because my brother, as a doctor, is considered a god in our family). But if we had to get the pole and focus on the Feats of Strength, I think we MIGHT just be able to keep Christmas in December where it belongs. Think about it. We could have Festivus decorations and Festivus songs and Festivus presents. And as a non-denominational holiday, Festivus for the rest of us can REALLY bring the American people together to fight off Christmas creeping.

Who’s with me?

(By the way, you shouldn’t take this post in any way, shape, or form as an indication that I don’t want Christmas presents. I do. I’ll post a list of things I want soon to help you out. But great presents for me fall mostly into three categories: cash, shoes (size 8 1/2), and sparkly things. You should probably start shopping now. All the cool kids are doing it.)

"Who the hell am I gonna pretend to be today?"

Because I am a giant kid, I love Halloween. Of course, I love any excuse to put on a costume and fun makeup, which means that I get extra Jewish around Purim every year. But this year, my cousin’s bat mitzvah is the Saturday of Halloween weekend, and I’m too old to go trick or treating on Sunday night, so I don’t get to dress up this year.

Which is tragic.

Especially because I was sick last year and missed Halloween then. And I had a REALLY awesome costume planned for last year. I was going to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, which isn’t that surprising considering that’s always been one of my favorite movies. But I was going to bring Rosie with me. Not as Toto. I was going to put her in her OWN Dorothy costume, then tell people we had a little miscommunication about who was supposed to be Dorothy and who was supposed to be Toto.

And before you say that’s awful, look at how cute the dog ruby slippers are!

But no. My newspaper kids had to get me sick right before Halloween. (That’s right, Ben. I’m calling you out. That’s when you got the plague and gave it to me.)

Luckily, teaching high school has one MAJOR perk to it. No, I don’t mean getting the summer off. Or even being done with school at 2:30 every day (which really ISN’T a perk when you consider that I have to BE there at 7am every freaking day… I’d gladly get out a little later if school would start later). I’m talking about Homecoming Week.

No, I never cared about the game or the dance or who won King and Queen, even when I was in high school.  I loved it because it was a week of playing dress up. Of course, my least favorite day was spirit day at the end of the week. Mostly because our school colors were orange and black. And as my best friend reminds me every time I tell her I’m planning to kill someone, orange is NOT my color.

Now everyone who’s been a student in one of my classes knows that I’m not exactly Miss School Spirit. I hate wearing big, baggy t-shirts, and I REALLY hate wearing the exact same thing everyone else is wearing. (Which I proved the first time we had to wear our newspaper staff shirts on a distribution day when I was in high school. I had requested a smaller size, which Keegan refused to order, so instead of wearing the shirt with jeans, like every other staff member did, I wore mine with leopard-print leggings and knee-high boots. Keegan started ordering smaller shirts after that.) But when it’s an excuse to dress up in a creative way, I’m happy to show off my spirit.

It’s a little more difficult to do this in a high school setting than it is for Halloween, however, because all outfits have to stay school-appropriate. But it’s still do-able in most cases.

In previous years, I’ve pulled out some fun outfits. My personal favorite was on music genres day, when I decided to rock the disco look, complete with a one-piece denim, bell-bottomed jumpsuit, platform heels, and Farrah Fawcett waves. And my kids are always SHOCKED when I wear sneakers to go with a theme day. (They have no idea that I’m NOT actually 5’10 when I take off my heels.)

This year though, I’m struggling a little with what to do. I’ve already got my outfits picked out for Pajama Day and ‘80s Day (hello Madonna lace-gloves and leggings!), and as always, I’m skipping Wacky Tacky Day (because I don’t do tacky. Ever. Under any circumstances. No way. No how. And I know my mom is reading this and agreeing with me 100 percent), but this year they’ve added “Celebrity Day” and I don’t know what to do with that.

I’ve been asking my kids for suggestions, but so far, most of them aren’t appropriate for a teacher to do—aka J-Woww, Kim Kardashian, and Marilyn Monroe. (Side note, who the hell is Kim Kardashian? Like I don’t watch reality tv other than Jersey Shore, and as far as I can figure out, she’s famous for having a pretty face, a big ass, and no discernable talent. Is that really all it takes to be famous these days?) One student was sweet and offered to go as Bruce Springsteen so I could go as his wife, but no one except me would know who I was if I did that.

Another student said he plans to wear a latex glove with a bloody glove half over it and be OJ Simpson, and he said I could be Nicole Brown Simpson, but I think that one would get me in trouble pretty quickly. (Even though I think it’s hilarious.)

I could reuse a Halloween costume from a few years ago when I went as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but only girls knew who I was. Guys had NO idea. (And I find it ironic that my “classic” and appropriate-for-school choice would be dressing as an actress who played a high-class prostitute in the role that I was copying her style from. But it was IMPLIED whoring instead of overtly stated whoring, so I guess that’s okay.) And while I like that choice, one of my newspaper kids is also going as Audrey Hepburn, and while she said she doesn’t mind if I do the same thing, I feel bad doing the same thing she’s doing.

So I’m opening this up to the fans of my blog. (Some of whom are in Europe apparently… who are you guys? I’m seriously curious who my Denmark, Germany, and United Kingdom fans are…) Who should I be for Celebrity Day? It has to be at least MOSTLY school appropriate (aka not TOO much cleavage), and something I can do relatively easily (I’m not getting plastic surgery, dying or cutting my hair, or creating a Lady Gaga outfit—and yes, I know I could just drape myself in sandwich meats for that, but I feel like that would smell pretty bad by sixth period, and I’m not sure I’d make it out the door past Rosie in that getup). And no, I’m NOT going as a Republican! So don’t even THINK about any Sarah Palin or Christine O’Donnell suggestions! It’s CELEBRITY Day, not dress like an outspoken idiot day.

PS, if anyone OTHER than Lynnlee gets what the title of this post is referencing, I’m impressed!