About three weeks ago, I made a trip to the market. (Geez, I sound like one of the little piggies...let me rephrase.) Three weeks ago, I went to the grocery store. And, there at the entrance of the building were mountains of pumpkins stacked high and wide like a proverbial utopia of gourds. A gourdtopia, if you will.
Inside, spread throughout the store: tables and tables full of trick-or-treat candy, an aisle full of plastic costumes and enough motion activated "spooky" home decoration noise makers to drive at least three of the grocery store employees to madness with their constant screeches and chimes.
Seeing all this threw me for a loop. After all, Halloween--at that time--was at least two months away. Yet, to grocery stores, pharmacies and strip malls across this country, selling holiday junk (even of the perishable variety) more than 60 days out makes complete sense for some strange reason. And for some stranger reason, people buy it up without a second thought.
But who in their right mind is buying and displaying this stuff so soon? Can you imagine somebody waking up on a warm, late August morning and thinking to themselves: "Oooh, I better start hanging faux cobwebs up on my porch now!"
During my trip to this particular grocery store, I even half expected to see (if one can "half expect" something) Easter decorations down the aisle next to the Halloween decorations. God forbid we don't start decorating our eggs now! Because, as we know, nothing celebrates the resurrection of Christ better than some chocolate bunnies and painted eggs! Let's get the eggs painted now so by Easter they will smell exactly like eggs smell after sitting out for half of a year!
Can you imagine what a pumpkin looks and smells like on Halloween after being purchased, deseeded and degutted of all of that slimy orange stringy stuff and carved...two months early? I imagine it would look like a cross between a half-deflated balloon and a Petri dish experiment that got out of hand.
Have we really become a nation that is so obsessed over instant gratification that now we can't even wait until the actual month the holiday falls in before rushing out and buying all of the disposable holiday junk for sale at the nearest corner store?
It makes me glad I've been blessed with the gift of procrastination! Sure, the trick-or-treaters don't appreciate the fact that I forgot to buy a bag of bite-size candy to distribute to them when they come around demanded sugar from me. But there's nothing wrong with finding whatever one may find stashed away in the house as an alternative to candy (when in a bind), such as a can of Lima beans, spare change, a coupon for $1 off on a pizza or other random crap taking up space in your home.
If the kids balk, just tell them that you opted to "trick" rather than "treat" and send them on their way. They'll get more candy soon enough. After all, Easter is right around the corner.