November, formerly a month of mind-numbing sluggishness, has now become a mad scramble of planning to buy things we can’t afford while attempting to work off that extra turkey weight. Being a broke student never stings more than in November, when nothing alleviates the sad reality of trying to justify that costly female Spock Halloween costume which seemed essential so recently. Merry Hallowthanksmus, everybody. Tis the season during which our three most insatiable holidays heap shameless consumerism upon us.
The corporate demons who transformed Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas seemingly enter an unholy allegiance every year, bent on total domination of our bank accounts. This year, I made the ill-fated decision to do my Christmas shopping “early,” a full month and a half in advance. The mall was already overrun with crazed bargain hunters. I found myself trapped in the underbelly of Chinook’s parkade on Nov. 9, corralled into circles like a showjumping horse by weary parking attendants. Hallowthanksmus has become an unstoppable force, in part because of consumerist culture, but more likely as a way to combat the fact that November is otherwise so dull. With nothing to look forward to except bad weather, the solution seems to be to amp up the ‘holly jolliness’ early, which apparently involves one thing: spending a lot of cash.
The transition from one holiday to the next has sped into a blur. Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas décor can now be found in one convenient, overflowing aisle of your nearest retailer by the beginning of November. Pumpkin spice lattes have barely retreated from Starbucks when the mall transforms into a Christmas fortress. October and November are a mess of compulsory emotion enough to give you a serious case of whiplash. First, be thankful for your friends and family. Then, scare the bajeezus out of them. Finally, buy them loads of presents to make up for it. Besides digging into our line of credit, Hallowthanksmus is so amorphous it is confusing. Bah Humbug.
So why are we adamant about pretending to treat each holiday separately? We still insist on buying separate gifts and decorations to distinguish each occasion. But we are becoming increasingly unaware of which holiday to celebrate anymore. We need to re-evaluate how we approach the month of November, which is apparently so mind-numbing that we feel the need to prolong October for as long as possible, using it as some sort of pole vault into the excitement of December. Perhaps it would be more beneficial for our pocket books, our sanity and our ever-expanding waistbands to enjoy the lapse in ‘holiday’ for just one month out of the year.