While walking through Target one fine September day, I came across aisles upon aisles of Halloween costumes and decorations. There were pumpkin baskets and paper spiders and witches and skeletons and bats. The walls were stuffed with candy, so much so that my fillings hurt just looking at it. I was overwhelmed by the overwhelming amount of Halloween décor. And I was confused because, as far as I could remember, it was still September and Halloween was a good seven weeks away.
My how time flies, or at least how bigbox retail stores make it seem that way. Target is far from the only one pushing holidays on consumers one after the other. Once we dispense with one holiday, the next is up on shelves beckoning us to get festive or get out. 4th of July party poppers in May? Easter bunnies in February? Arbor Day saplings in August? There seems to be no stopping the over-commercialization and constant bombardment of early holiday jitters.
Well, there is almost no stopping.
The pressure of the holidays is a stress upon all of us, whether we choose to admit it or not. Some have a hard time handling the family and friends, and others struggle with the financial commitment of decorations, travel, presents, and more. My solution: celebrate a holiday after it has passed.
Christmas on the 28th, New Year's on the 2nd, and Halloween well into November. It's the way to do it, especially if you want to save a little hassle and save a lot of money. With the rest of the country so obsessed with going, going, going, you should consider stopping, watching the hustle and bustle parade in front of you, and taking the time to wait and enjoy yourself rather than stress out.
There are several benefits to a belated holiday schedule, and all of them seem to revolve around saving money and saving stress.
For many, the money issue might be the biggest one around the holidays, which is why celebrating the Christmases and Thanksgivings after the fact is a great solution. First off, you can get a great deal on decorations. The day after a holiday ends, stores and shops are going to slash their prices on seasonal merchandise because all that overhead is practically useless to them anymore. Have you ever noticed how the price of a Christmas tree keeps falling and falling the closer it gets to Christmas? It is simply a matter of the sellers getting more and more desperate.
The same economic phenomenon will take place in stores like Target and Walmart, too. Once the holiday has passed, these stores need to make room for the next big date on the calendar. Often times, you can find deals for as much as 75 percent off, simply because you waited patiently for the deal to come.
In addition to great deals with decorations, there are also certain holidays when patience can make gift buying much easier and less expensive. Christmas especially is a great time to wait it out. There are so many great deals on the days after Christmas since so many people are out returning presents and gifts. Stores are anxious to turn returned items into new purchases, so they consistently offer deals that can’t be beat. Those celebrating the holidays late will benefit. Rather than fight the high prices before the holidays, if you wait until after they are over, you can find much better deals on all the items on your wish list.
Saving money is great, but earning money might be even better. The whole world doesn't shut down around the holidays. There are still plenty of places that need workers and staff to work on everyone else's days off. If you celebrate a holiday a day or two later, you would have no problem working on a traditional off-day. And even better, you would earn time-and-a-half. You can't beat that.
The stress you save would be big, too. When you hit the mall or visit a restaurant around a holiday, the place is always packed with people taking advantage of their time off and their time together. Not so with a belated celebration. You and yours will most likely be the only ones still enjoying the festivities, so you will have much less congestion to worry about.
Even the roads would be less busy. Instead of fighting Labor Day traffic, you can enjoy the open road to yourself if you choose to celebrate the weekend after instead.
Understandably, this idea is pretty radical.
Observing holidays when they are not meant to be observed goes against everything that culture and society says. You would be the only ones sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner on a Monday, and you’d have a hard time sharing the holidays with friends or family who don’t abide by the same belated rules as you do.
Plus, some jobs just aren’t flexible enough to support an alternative holiday lifestyle. Most companies give employees days off that are recognized across the country. It is highly unlikely that you could find the same benevolence if you request extra days a week or two later.
This new way of looking at holiday celebrations is obviously not for everyone, but for those concerned with money or stress or time management around Christmas, New Year’s, and the other hairy holidays, celebrating a day or two later might be a tempting option. There is lots of money to save by taking advantage of sales and discounts. There is lots of money to earn by working the days that no one else is willing to work. And there is lots of time, energy, and happiness to spare by taking yourself out of the rat race and doing the holidays on your time and your schedule.
At the very least, it will at least make seeing Halloween decorations in September a little less frustrating.