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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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The holiday season

Uploaded: Oct 16, 2019
Halloween is already in full swing for us. We are decorating pumpkins and finalizing costumes. Somehow celebrating Halloween always reminds our kids that Christmas is only a couple months away. How are they already thinking about Christmas? I want to help our kids enjoy each holiday for what it is. Halloween is not just a holiday leading up to Thanksgiving which is leading up to Christmas. Can’t we just enjoy each holiday as it comes before jumping ahead to the next? Well, maybe not.

I can’t ask our kids to not think about Christmas already. I definitely have Christmas on my mind. We are figuring out our holiday plans and I’m sure they overhear those conversations. I also asked them to all wear red for photos so I could order Christmas cards early. And soon enough I will ask them to start making Christmas gifts for relatives.

Does it really matter if the holidays overlap a bit? Does it make them less special? I don’t think so.

It can help keep the holiday spirit buzzing from Halloween all the way until Easter. And so far all of the holiday excitement has given our kids something to talk and reminisce about together. At a time in their lives when their interests are clearly diverging, talking about the holidays is helping them laugh, play and enjoy each other’s company more. Although most would say that the holiday season hasn’t even really started yet, the holiday spirit has already truly helped bring our kids back together and I want that magic to continue as long as possible.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:20 am

Part of me wants to ask what holiday are you talking about? It seems to me nowadays that as soon as one holiday is over, the next one takes over. As soon as the Back to School shelves are cleared in stores, Halloween takes over and the day after Halloween Christmas fills the aisles almost forgetting Thanksgiving. Then of course there is New Years, followed almost immediately by Valentines, St. Patricks Day, Easter, Mothers Day/Fathers Day, then 4th July.

I wish we could get back to a time when various holidays came slowly without exciting children, without commercialism, and without weeks of waiting. I feel children would be much happier not wishing their lives away. Life goes by much too quickly and forever looking and waiting with anticipation for something that is weeks or even months away makes children over-excited with the real possibility of anti-climax on The Day. Apart from the fact that most people spend more than they really want or can afford, putting themselves in debt, there is also the big problems of obesity and filling landfill with trash, plastic junk that can't be recycled and unnecessary paper in the recycling which will cause more problems at recycling centers.

One of the messages we should be learning about climate change is consumerism. The more junk that is manufactured, the more junk that has to be dealt with as trash.

I would like to see a return to simple holidays that arrive without fanfare, no sleep deprivation, no huge spending expectations and a lesson to our children that the really important things in life are what we have each day, not vague excitements for something too far ahead for them to imagine rather than an ability to enjoy today.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Resident - Thanks for commenting! Great point about not wanting our children to just wish their lives away always waiting for the next holiday. And that we need to teach them how to enjoy the present moment.

I like hearing about different “experiential gifts.” We always enjoy getting a family membership to a zoo, amusement park or museum. It’s not a gift wrapped under the tree, but it is enjoyed all year long.

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