Saturday 24 Sep 2016

Candy, Candy, Candy
Jennifer Flaten

My little candy machines collected over eleven pounds of candy at Halloween and that was only doing part of our neighborhood.

Military attacks go off with less planning then trick or treat in our house. The kids carefully mapped out the houses with the best candy (based on last year's information) and then plotted their path accordingly.

Now, I would be very remiss as a parent if I allowed my kids to eat all that candy.

I had to perform a random sampling to make sure the candy was safe. Yes, I did use that line on the kids and yes, the kids did buy it.

Once I awoke from my sugar-induced coma, I found myself in the scariest part of the year, the holiday shopping season.

Okay, okay maybe election season is slightly more terrifying; I know most of the candidates scare the bejeebus out of me.

If memory serves me correct the holiday shopping season used to be after Thanksgiving, but now due to global warming or the slumping economy, I forget which, is now right after Halloween.

I went to the store on All Hallows Eve looking for a deal on rubber bats. Hey, you can never have too many rubber bats. I expected the Halloween decorations discounted, but to my dismay, not one decoration was on sale.

That is because all the Christmas decorations were out and marked at fifty percent off. It seems the holiday shopping blitzkrieg started that weekend.

The staff didn't look particularly festive. Well, who can blame them, according to the giant signs dangling from the ceiling, the store was starting holiday shopping hours that day.

In the unlikely event you ran out of some essential holiday item, like wrapping paper, at 11 pm on October 31 a (un)happy little retail elf would be available to sell you some.

One store specializing in seasonal items has not only started playing Christmas music, but is threatening to continue playing Christmas music until February.

I am sure any staff that hasn't quit by then will be ready to be voluntarily committed to a quiet room.

I read that the weekend of Halloween is now the "new" black Friday. What the heck, I thought?

Ah, if only I had the ability to assign, arbitrarily, random titles to days, I would pick November 13 as "Cookie Day."

I told you it would arbitrary and random and my cookie day makes about as much sense as moving "black Friday" to Halloween weekend. Aside from the association of black and Halloween, I see absolutely no reason to move the shopping weekend.

In fact, if changing the major holiday shopping weekend is some twisted way to try to convince procrastinators to get out and shop, it isn't going to work.

I am a card-carrying procrastinator. I'll show you the card, later. The only thing moving the big shopping weekend does is convince me that I have even more time to put off shopping.

I like shopping, as witnessed by my large collection of shoes and purses. I just don't like shopping with pressure.

I hate feeling as if I have to buy it now or it will not be there next time I go back.

Unfortunately, this is now the norm. I have to buy snow pants in June or run the risk of going to the store in October looking for snow pants and finding only bikinis.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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