The Turducken of Holidays


Up to this point in the year, each holiday has had its own special day. On February 14th, we give cards and candy for Valentine’s Day. Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 with baskets filled with Easter eggs. And on the 4th of July, we shoot off fireworks.

Each holiday throughout the year has its own celebration — until this year. This year a whole new holiday has been invented. Welcome, Dear Reader, to the turducken of all holidays: Hallothanksmas.

Unlike all the other holidays, if you’re shopping for that perfect Hallothanksmas gift for a loved one, there’s no hurry — you have plenty of shopping time left. Hallothanksmas started on September 25th and will go all the way ‘til the end of the year.

Don’t believe there’s such a holiday as Hallothanksmas? I didn’t either until I witnessed it with my own eyes.

This weekend, take the family on a trip to any of the big box stores in our fair town, go inside, walk up and down the aisles and look around at all the mixed seasonal decorations. Then you too will believe Hallothanksmas has now arrived!

This new turducken of holidays didn’t happen overnight. Nope, it’s taken years to be manufactured by retailers.

First, there was the blending of Halloween and Thanksgiving, or as this writer likes to call it: Hallow-n-thanks. It’s when decorations for both separate holidays crash into each other and are placed on display in local stores at the same time.

This not only perplexes me but to have witches, vampires, and monsters next to pilgrims, scarecrows, turkeys, and pumpkins? Well, for this writer, it’s just wrong.

The holiday of Hallow-n-thanks is not new. It’s been going on for years. But before the newest of new holiday, Hallothanksmas, could be invented this year, there was a little more blending to be done.

With the timeline successfully and forever blurred between Halloween and Thanksgiving, why stop there? How about combining Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations on the same shelves in stores?

Long before Thanksgiving arrives, Christmas decorations and trees are already on sale at local retailers. Not found on any calendar, Thanksmas is the holiday that runs from the first of November to Christmas Day. Unless you visit Santa’s toy factory and store at the North Pole, it’ll be hard to find a store around here during that time just selling Thanksgiving stuff or only Christmas decorations and toys.

Now, I’ve resisted going into detail about how wrong Hallow-n-thanks is. And I’ve refrained from shouting about the absurdness of Thanksmas. But this year, some retailers have gone too far! I can hold my pen back no longer.

Now Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas goods are displayed on stores shelves at the same time! All three holidays have now been squished and blended into one huge holiday. That holiday I now officially name Hallothanksmas.

Yes, I know. A holiday starting on October 1st and running all the way ‘til the end of the year is simply absurd. Three separate and distinct holidays, each full of their own traditions and nuances going back hundreds of years, being squished into one is beyond comprehension.

Yet, this year, the absurdity of Hallothanksmas does exist and is on full display in some of the store windows around town.

I think back a lot about those eight magical years we spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, and how each holiday we celebrated had its own special traditions.

Halloween had pumpkins, costumes, trick-or-treating, candy, and Charley Brown on TV.

Thanksgiving brought us turkey with stuffing, sweet potato souffle, pumpkin pies, a special visit with our grandparents, and the Macy’s Parade on TV.

Christmas was the most special of the special holidays. It brought all the family together going to church, a wonderful meal, and gifts around the tree.

I know that after this pandemic, retailers need to make money. But my memories of childhood aren’t all squished together in one giant holiday. It’s my hope, for the children of this day, that we keep the three holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas separated not only in our hearts and memories, but also in the store displays.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing a weekly column for The Citizen for more than two decades.]