How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Twas the Night Before Something

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It’s September in Los Angeles and that means one thing: the seasons will change from Summer to, well… more Summer.

This year, I’m anxious to see the customary changing of the air filters and people starting to bundle up in t-shirts instead of tank-tops. Keeping track of which month we’re in, to be fair, isn’t easy anymore though. It’s getting more and more confusing even if you have a phone that syncs with your computer that syncs with your iPad that syncs with your email. No matter where you live. Between weather patterns that seem to come from a roulette wheel, a Bieber-fever-pitch in politics and the defeatist demeanor of the masses, who could tell. But, more importantly, I call this peculiarity to your attention because there is a war being fought in almost every township that no one is paying attention to and I feel it’s high time we call attention to it.


Last week, I was walking in Costco or, as I call it, “Dante’s 8th Level of Hell.” I’ve almost perfected the art of dodging the open-mouthed, wandering cattle there but, as usual, I began to reach a near homicidal rage (imagining the installation of Roman Gladiator blades on the wheels of my oversized cart isn’t THAT crazy). We needed industrial amounts of toilet paper. Don’t ask why. Four hundred rolls of TP is more or less the American Dream now, right? It was there, passing the towering pillars of cheese, that I bore witness to a horrible site. It was like a terrifying sideshow.

an old photo of my dad with christmasMy dad on Christmas. I come from a long line of excitable kids.

There was a f*cking Christmas tree.

I can’t imagine how a person of Jewish or Muslim heritage must feel, being edged out by this behemoth display. As a Christmas spectator, I’m having a hard enough time dealing with it. But for them? Couldn’t this easily seem like fodder for a reverse crusade?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love what it stands for (or should to those who are Scrooge-like). People should open their hearts to others on as many calendar days as possible, and if it’s this one day then so be it. That’s a truly remarkable, spiritual feeling, seeing it all unfold.

However, at the pace we’re running, it’s only a matter time before we have New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and then CHRISTMAS all over again. Yikes. What an alcoholic stew that would be. I call “bullsh*t.” What about NATIONAL PIZZA MONTH (yep, actually exists)? What about Thanksgiving, man? What about my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN? You can’t take Halloween away from me! That’s when I decided, enough is enough….


R2D2 costume for toddlers is AWESOME“This little droid. I think he’s searching for his former master.”

Halloween is a particularly spectacular tradition for me and I plan on indoctrinating my son in its magnificent pageantry as early as possible. From those nights, so many things transpired for me. Homemade costumes. Experiences of haunted shadows. They’ll permeate my being forever. Where would we all be without those memories?

Now, Halloween might not be your cup of tea for whatever reason, but I’m telling you there are quite a few benefits that come from MY favorite night of the year.

Dressing up as a kid you learned about the necessity of candy currency. We were addicted and everyone on every block was supplying. We traded the weaker candy for the greater candy and targeted the right houses and neighborhoods for ultimate conquest. It was a college course in economics, supply and demand. But it was more than that. It was adventure.

halloween costume paradeThat’s right. I was a frigging crime fighter back in the 1980’s even in preschool.

After re-reading that last paragraph, I know I came off a bit like a hardcore capitalist with kill-or-be-killed propaganda. Sorry about that, communists. πŸ˜‰ But to the hardcore capitalists reading this, I have to say go ahead and throw the “pagan” name tag on Halloween, the holiday of holidays. My only reply: this is the last unregulated commerce left on Earth. If I get a snickers out of it, you can kiss my ass.

Or, maybe to be equitable, what if we combined the 31st with Christmas and everyone ran around giving each other presents in a sort of melee of presents and doorbells and bags filled with gifts and candy. That works for me.

That would make more sense than a ridiculous looking symbolic tree in September. Whose lights I unplugged at a major wholesale store in my final act of defiance.


29 Responses to “Twas the Night Before Something”

  1. DJPimpDaddy says:

    GOOD FOR YOU! Unplug them, then take out a few bulbs I say!

    Yesterday I made a humorous yet “controversial” post on my facebook page that I wanted all the 9/11 pageantry to be over so we can start seeing Christmas commercials on tv. While that was a joke poking at consumerism, this blog post is terrifying. How sad is it that the shopping war machines have started the Christmas season in September? Next we are going to start having future presidents campaign 5 years before the election, Babys R Us will solicit new couples to come preregister for their Baby Shower Registry, and Facebook will just go ahead and link with your doctor’s database to share the rest of you online.

    Also in related news apparently my mother in law already purchased my 2 son’s (3 and 1) Halloween costumes. One choice I don’t have to fret over I suppose.

  2. Makyo says:

    The worst part is that even though I don’t want to buy my seasonal decorations & clothes & lights this early I feel like I HAVE TO. Otherwise, by the time the actual season arrives and I want to shop, everything will be sold out! It pisses me off to no end.

  3. Emily says:

    I also hate when radio stations/stores/etc start playing Christmas music well before Thanksgiving. All I have to say is that Christmas comes after Thanksgiving, and that’s where it should remain. I hate that I’m sick of it before it even gets here, because, otherwise, I really like it!

    • charlie says:

      The day after Thanksgiving IS THE STARTING GUN. Why can’t radio stations and retailers understand that?

      Also, x-mas music gets CRAZY ratings when they play it — as I just found out. Go figure.

    • CB says:

      Amen to that! By the time xmas finally arrives the xmas music makes me wanna puke….literally!

  4. Stephanie K. says:

    Scrooges!! You and Jon both!!! It should be Christmas season all year ’round!!! πŸ˜€ I can’t wait for Starbucks to start their Christmas music!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Is sure is out of hand, and I don’t think I know very many who thinks, ” Yay, Christmas tree in September!!” Life is already too short feeling as it is, why are we pushing everything so fast forward?! What Makyo said is true though, if you don’t get it now, it is gone πŸ™

    The only store I respect is Nordstroms, where they do not put up any Christmas decor until the day after Thanksgiving!

  6. Buffi says:

    You unplugged the lights? YOU are my hero.

  7. Justin says:

    There is NO Christmas stuff coming into this house, or going up in/around this house until AT LEAST the day after Thanksgiving.

  8. So, as the token Jew in the bloggosphere, I am authorized to let you know that when we aren’t cringing, we’re mostly laughing. That’s because all the powers of the Christmas buying mind control apparatus cannot penetrate our protective skull caps. We get to watch all the unsuspecting hypnotized Costco and Walmart consumers mindlessly hand over wads of money in exchange for, well, green and red plastic stuff.

    So we don’t feel bad that there’s no Jewish-ish stuff in the stores; it makes us feel much safer when we’re out and about. Don’t worry about us, we’ve got it all under control–who do you think owns the companies that sell you guys all that crap? Bwahahahaha!!!

    • charlie says:

      Hahahahahahaha!!! I knew I needed a yarmulke!

      By the way, religion is no longer the “opiate of the masses” as some have said. It’s consumerism. It’s buying crap.

      Religion is doing its best in this day and age. If we want to talk about the new religion that people are severely pious towards: BUYING CRAP.

  9. I refuse to shop early. Refuse. So things will be sold out. So stores will be crowded. So I will be stressed and perhaps cursing.

    I will NOT shop early. Stop forcing time to move so fast – don’t they realize every month I am just getting older! SLOW DOWN THE DAMN CLOCK! Stop rushing this life baby. I am trying to enjoy the ride!

  10. I also hated when stores try to promote something that is way ahead of its’ season. Like bringing winter clothing right in the mid of Summer. Slow it down!

  11. Annie says:

    Last winter Florida decided that it was actually Michigan. Sadly the stores all stopped selling ANYTHING long sleeved that would remotely keep you warm. It was 20 degrees (literally) and Target was selling sun screen and bathing suits. People were actually raging about it in the stores. Standing around saying things like “I am f*cking freezing and all they have is beach towels.” I was lucky I have lived all over the country and I have warm coats. My poor daughter had nothing. Half the time she wandered around in layers of random clothing that I could pile on her to keep her warm. I hate the stores. Hate them.

    BTW Halloween is also my favorite holiday. I am currently planning our costumes and I haunt the stores waiting for the costumes to come out. NOTHING!!! As for Christmas decorations they come out on the first of dec. I apologize I am apparently more passionate about this than I thought.

  12. what a cute little droid! i was out the other day and saw Christmas things going up already…until my Halloween stuff goes on clearance, i won’t be ready for the next holiday.


  13. Britt says:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! And I yelled that out as I was reading this, scaring the sleeping boy πŸ˜› I LOOOOOVE Halloween, and can’t wait to scare the crapoodles out of kids (including my own) and eating tons and tons of candy and dressing up!!! And Thanksgiving, where do I start?? It’s pretty much the only time of year that EVERYONE makes the several hour trip to spend time with family! They start playing Christmas music the day of Thanksgiving, bring out the stuff in September, this year there was even an ad for Sears or something, reminding people that Christmas is just around the corner…IN AUGUST!!!!
    Why can’t we appreciate our other holidays?? It makes me so sad. And they aren’t even giving a whole month on tv for Halloween..this stinks (stomps foot and pouts..)

  14. Emily says:

    There are a few shopping seasons: January white sales, Memorial Day beach sales, Back-to-School sales, and Christmas. I live for Back-to-School sales. I buy college ruled paper and 24 count boxes of Crayolas for no damn reason. If Christmas edges MY favorite time of the shopping year out, I will protest. I will boycott. I will stand outside with a sandwich board and a mega-phone. πŸ™‚

  15. Lucy says:

    Gaaaah. So here we have a shop called ‘Scotmid’, our local co-op. And yes, before they put out the Halloween Haribo’s, the fake spiderwebs and the tacky purple bat ears I was HORRIFIED to watch our shelves fill up with Xmas sweets, mince pies, snowmen and the traditional Quality street big box ‘o bellyache…
    I spluttered at an unsuspecting shop assistant ‘But it’s no even October!’. Poor lad looked apologetic, and also a wee bit freaked at this outburst from a (usually) quiet and friendly customer.. Sigh… I cannae take it anymore, Cap’tn.

  16. What’s sad is that Halloween is the second-highest grossing holiday sales period. You would think stores would want to continue that trend and pimp the crap out of Halloween from August-October and get every last penny out of us before we have to dig deep again for Christmas. However, it seems like each year there is less and less Halloween merchandise available and more Christmas. I’m a Christmas fanatic. It’s sick how much I love the holiday, but even I know to let my jack-o-lantern get nice and moldy and get my fill of turkey leftovers before the season really begins. Although I’d be lying if I said I haven’t already listened to Christmas music. Some days you just need a little Wham! “Last Christmas” to get you through a Monday.

    And while I’m already writing a novel, I might as well throw in how much I MISS HALLOWEEN SPECIALS! Remember when every show had a Halloween episodes? And all of the ads? I loved those damn Pepsi/Doritos Halloween ads with Elvira. They don’t even show many Halloween movies on AMC or TCM. It’s a travesty.

  17. Dude! I was Robin back in the 80s! I wonder if you were Batman and I was Robin the same year…cosmic, bro.

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