Yes, the Holidays Are Coming Faster. No, They Don’t Have To!

“Halloween comes earlier every year” is a thing we
say with all the regularity of Halloween itself.
In part
this is because of how time collapses: The 12 months between my
first Halloween (costume choice: bumblebee) and my second (tomato)
equaled 100 percent of my lifetime. The time between my
grandmother’s
most recent Halloween (costume choice: retiree)
and the one to come (she’s thinking about it) will account for
1.08 percent of hers. Our first Halloween is a titanic overload of
ghosts and goblins and glitter and our mothers, usually so
familiar, dressed as lions. Our 30th might be a parade of ****
teachers, **** nurses, **** peacocks, **** bananas. Our
92nd—pfft. Halloweens arrive with the regularity and
insignificance of passing
commuter
trains.

This is a situation compounded by matters not of perception but
of science, and broken seasons, and catastrophic dislocation. Last
Thursday, the third day of October, the high temperature in New
York City was 91 degrees, and so our bodies said Where is the
beach? rather than What can I be for Halloween that is not a ****
banana? Meanwhile, pumpkin spice lattes have been on sale since the
week before Labor Day, because Starbucks decided to test the limits
of our appetites for PSLs and PSL season writ large. And so,
seasonality—and the underlying pleasures of a thing that it is
more valuable because it is less available—becomes just another
kind of scarcity. Why have scarcity when you can have more, and
everything, all of the time?

No wonder Halloween feels like it comes earlier every year: As a
percentage of our time on Earth, it does. Our bodies are telling us
that it’s mid-summer, not early fall, while our flavored coffees,
with entirely their own agenda, would have us believe that mid-fall
starts in late summer.

It’s a mess. There is, though, a way to right some of these
wrongs.

Last year, I was “too busy” to come up with a costume until
Halloween morning, and ultimately decided to go to a party in Paris
as “an American woman”: camo T-shirt, camo Elizabeth &
James jeans, Forever 21 camo sweatshirt, French Army camo jacket.
(“Et voilà, I am both celebrating and satirizing your French
expectations of American fashion norms!”). I slowly walked up rue
Oberkampf, knowing my costume was a failure; I bought the cheapest
possible pinot noir at a convenience store, went to my friend’s
apartment, knocked gently on the door, put the wine next to the
doormat when no one answered, and turned to go home, though I could
hear the party stirring inside. Halfway down the stairs, though, I
passed a man on his way to the party I had just abandoned. Eleven
months later, I see him perfectly: He was dressed as a French mime,
his face painted chalk-white, with a lemon-yellow beret and a
blue-and-white striped marinière. In his arms, he cradled two
baguettes, wrapped not in standard paper but vintage French linen.
It was like seeing a deer walk through my living room. I can barely
remember the five Halloweens that came before that one, but I will
never forget that mime.

His commitment was magnificent, and in its magnificence, we find
a solution for our problem. We cannot force Starbucks to respect
the natural timeline of the pumpkin harvest, but we can reconfigure
our sense of time, and how we spend it. When we create things that
are magnificent, we regard their debut with apprehension, and
excitement, and wonder, and trust me, if you sit down today and
dream up the greatest Halloween costume anyone has ever created,
the time between now and Halloween will dribble by, like the
slowest trickle of seasonally appropriate maple sap. Things we want
seem to arrive more slowly; for proof, let us momentarily return to
those commuter trains, which never appear more irregularly than
when we are late. I am too busy, you are too busy—and yet I just
spent the last ten minutes busily staring out my window. An amazing
idea rarely takes much time—it takes, instead, the desire to have
one, and a sense of the possibility that we might be magnificent.
(Pinterest can help.)

Without that sense of possibility, we will be caught off-guard,
in our camo non-costumes, and Halloween, and the holidays that
follow, will hurtle toward us, another undone task coming due. With
it, though, we can do the hard work of making our holidays magical
ourselves. Like everything worth having, they will take forever to
get here. The alternative is a world moving ever-faster, filled
with **** peacocks. We can do better, and be brilliant.

Graphics by Coco Lashar.

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Yes, the Holidays Are Coming Faster. No, They Don’t Have To!

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Source: FS – NY Fashion
Yes, the Holidays Are Coming Faster. No, They Don’t Have To!