The Suitcase Lady


October 20, 2020, 6:59 pm

Imagine that you could live on a planet that revolved around the sun in ten days. Voila! Every ten days you would have a birthday with cake, presents, wine and birthday cards. The day of your birth would no longer be special if celebrated with such frequency.

As crazy as this sounds, our American way of celebrating holidays greatly resembles this pattern. The import is stolen from our special days as they are celebrated again and again for months in advance.

I faced this phenomenon head-on last Halloween. We have a tradition of eating little powdered sugar donuts on Trick or Treat night. Donuts were on my shopping list when I went to the grocery store a few days before Halloween. I located the donuts on the shelf only to discover that every brand had packaging covered with Santas and reindeer. Halloween hadn’t yet happened and I was staring at Christmas.

The stores would not be stocking Christmas cookies, donuts, candies and other holiday treats if customers weren’t buying them. When the holiday goodies are flowing and being consumed for months in advance, what can be special about the actual day of the holiday?

Christianity as well as other world religions preach the values of reflection, abstinence and anticipation. That’s what Lent and Advent are all about. Believers are not supposed to prepare themselves for the upcoming feast day by feasting for months in advance.

I had Advent calendars as a child and loved opening the little paper doors to see which picture would be revealed. After I was married, my husband told me that he had never had one when he was little. I since have bought him one every year. Last holiday season presented my biggest challenge. Every store where I searched for one only carried the calendars with a piece of candy behind every door. Since that seems like a total oxymoron to me, I had to get a mail-order calendar from Europe where candy-free Advent calendars still exist.

Consumption has triumphed over anticipation in America, and that is not helping our national happiness index one bit.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Liz Levins

    The huge amount of consumption is making us fat and consideraby less healthy. In addition to this nonsense, there are the constant sales, which even have their own abbreviation. BOGO Virtually no one needs two large bags of candy, chips, loaves of bread, or 10 lb sacks of potatoes. Type 2 diabetes is killing us, makes one more prone to covid 19, etc. Even the so called healthy foods, eaten in excess are bad. Too many peanuts, almonds, and that most delicious dip, humous aren’t healthy at all.