I almost made this all about Halloween, but I’d already tackled why Halloween was so great before. I figured I’d better put Thanksgiving with it, which gave me more ammo to work with. So, onward from least to best (my version):
10. The color schemes are more earthy, nice, and don’t blind you unnecessarily.
Halloween’s got it’s black and orange for the most part, but other colors can play along, and they’re mostly the darker colors like purples and blues meant to replicate night. Nice. And the red’s a dark red for obvious reasons. Oooohhhh…
Thanksgiving doesn’t really have its own scheme, but kinda continues on Halloween’s. But when I see Thanksgiving, I see harvest time, the browns, the oranges, reds, golds… it’s just lovely without being overly intrusive and annoying.
Of course, “Thanksgiving” and its color scheme are being shoved further back each year (ugh). Seriously, by the time December 1st rolls around, I am sick of Christmas. The reds and greens, fake snow and fake snowflakes are just annoying as hell after a while.
9. If you have a weird sense of humor, you might be in trouble
I can summarize it this way. Think about practical jokes and pranks that happen with family and friends, then mix in the holidays:
Play a daring prank at Halloween: great fun.
Play a daring prank at Thanksgiving: family legend passed down for future Thanksgivings.
Play a daring prank at Christmas: drinking, fist-fights, and/or divorce.
8. The music, for better or worse. The damned music.
Okay, I said a little about this in my previous Halloween post already, so I’ll just leave it be. What annoys me most, though, is why if they have a dozen varieties of the same song do they play only 1 or 2 versions over and over again for Christmas tunes? And why do stores and such need to have “Santa Baby” or Taylor Swift’s “Last Christmas” playing every hour?
I swear, I had to run errands for work and my dad, and stopped at 5 places. Every single one of them had “Last Christmas” come on. I got to the point where I said “Screw it,” put things back and walked out of the store when I heard it the 5th time. I hate that fucking song. I hear it three to five times a day already and I’m tired. God, you’d think it was the only modern Christmas song, and it’s been playing every day of the season the last few years!
So now I have to wonder, are there really any Thanksgiving songs anywhere, (other than that Turkey Day song from Addams Family Values)? Hmm…
7. Prep-time is shorter and the results are more interesting/fun/memorable.
Unless you’re operating a haunted house, fun house, fall festival church event, there isn’t that much prep for Halloween. Maybe an idea for a costume, go to the store, get it, and you’re good. Then you’ve got the parties or the kid events. It’s just a lot of fun (or maybe a lot of pranking and crying, fielder’s choice), but it’s inventive and gives inspiration for next year.
Thanksgiving’s all about getting the food at the best prices at least a week before. Then when it comes to the big day, everybody’s there with their “special” side-item to share (or with a second stomach to mooch with) and the super-home-cooked meal and stories go around the table.
Christmas…takes freaking forever. I love Lewis Black when he said in his standup about Christmas “how long does it take you people to SHOP!”
I’d like to know that, too.
6. You haven’t been eating weeks of turkey or ham leftovers before the big day.
Yes, this ties in to #8. I’ve never heard of anybody unable to close the fridge or pantry in prep for Halloween. The same for Thanksgiving. Its AFTER the food is cooked that the problems come in.
If you make enough food for an army, that’s a helluva lot of leftovers. And by the time Christmas goes around, nobody wants to deal with making a fresh turkey or ham.
Are Chinese food places open like on A Christmas Story anymore? I’d like to try the duck, please.
5. No “War on Christmas” bullshit to deal with on the “news.”
I don’t see a “War on Halloween” or “War on Thanksgiving,” though I’m sorely tempted to howl about a War on Thanksgiving. It’s barely there anymore, because damn Christmas shopping forces people out of their food comas and onto the blustery roads.
Frankly, with all that turkey and too-much-food in the gut, I’m not comfortable driving on Thanksgiving when the sales start up and people are sleepy. I’m at home well before then.
4. The movie storylines vary widely and aren’t restricted to Hallmark rom-com fodder.
Halloween movies can be silly, fun, scary, gory, intense, family-friendly, and who knows what. IF there are Thanksgiving movies, they tend to be pre-Christmas more than anything (ugh).
And then here comes Hallmark Channel “world-premiere-in-time-for-Christmas” bullshit.
Okay, sometimes I catch myself watching the Christmas cheese when nothing else is on and I just wanna chill (mostly because the couch is where dad is, and dad controls the remote). But then comes another one. And another one. And another one. They all have some crazy Christmas-time romance, use every trope in the rom-com handbook, and the places are always perfect with lots of snow.
I’m not much of a drinker, but if I wanted to start and feel my first hangover (of many), I’d do the Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game. I’d advise you to take a look and keep the hospital on speed-dial if you want to play.
3. Halloween and Thanksgiving are “anything goes, anybody shows” kinds of holidays. Christmas feels more exclusive.
Most people have some semblance of what Halloween is about and how it’s changed into its various incarnations. You take it or leave it, and if you don’t agree with the celebrating it, then it’s a personal decision, and good for you. I haven’t seen people cramming beliefs down others throats over it in a very long time (thank God).
Thanksgiving’s an awesome secular holiday that lets anybody, regardless of belief system or religious leaning, celebrate with those they care about–family, friends, neighbors, etc. It doesn’t matter. It feels warmer, more open, and people are in a good mood.
By the time Black Friday rolls around, it’s not as open. I’m sure some people have a great deal of stress going on and that’s a part of the closed-off and perpetually angry feeling that just oozes from their pores. That’s not including the ones who get their panties in a twist about people saying something other than “Merry Christmas.” I’ve seen some of them bristle at the mention of other celebrations going on.
We’re myopic about Christmas in a way that’s disheartening and not inclusive. You know, I’ve heard about Kwanzaa most of my life, but don’t think I know anybody that does anything with it. How do you celebrate it? What’s it about? We just know it exists, and that’s it. I know Jewish people and I’m sure they still celebrate Hanukkah. Well, what exactly is the story there? It’s history, older even than Christianity, but Christmas is the only thing that matters.
Are there any Kwanzaa movies? What about Hanukkah (and I mean other than that damned Eight Crazy Nights movie…I think N.C. took the feelings right out of my brain with THIS review (warning: don’t watch this review if you worship the ground Adam Sandler walks on. And if you want to KEEP worshiping the ground Adam Sandler walks on, don’t watch the movie, either).
2. You still have money in your bank account and aren’t gnashing your teeth yet.
I have yet to hear anybody start fretting over their bills and wondering how they’re going to make their car note after spending money on either Halloween or Thanksgiving.
1. You’re not sick of your family…yet.
Halloween seems to be mostly geared toward parents and their kids, or singles and friends at parties.
Thanksgiving’s largely getting all the family together from across the state, country, world, or backwater in the time-space continuum. They’re there, enjoy a weekend, and go back to life.
After weeks of shopping, parties for work, parties for friends, parties at kids schools, watching kids to make sure they don’t open presents too early, buying presents with kids around… let’s just say New Years Eve and all that fresh booze is too damned far away.
Whew–now that the air is cleared, and since we live in crazy-commercial Holiday-Land here, I’m gonna let you enjoy something that cracks me up every fall–the “Holiday Clusterf**k” song from The Nostalgia Critic: