"Boo - And Merry Christmas"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, October 25, 2014

Life gets confusing as time rushes along. The standard dates for holidays seem to be shifting around. My birthday always comes on the same date each year — no matter how hard I try to avoid it. It’s a fact: I get a year older each year and with all the celebrations thrown at me, it’s a wonder I don’t have to add two years.

Independence Day, the Fourth of July, also has always been on the same date each year. It’s easy to know when the day is near because you see signs: “Fireworks for Sale.” Smoke bombs are everywhere, and old glory springs up on every pole. Massive aerial fireworks are set off in many towns and, if rain or winds hold off, there is a sky of beauty for three or four nights in a row.

Each community that shoots up displays start just after sunset. Confusion sets in for me when ski rockets are heard (I’m often sound asleep) in the middle of the night several days after the event. Did someone miss what day was the 4th? Around Labor Day their supply usually is exhausted and we get to sleep through the night.

Speaking of Labor Day — it also is easy to know when it is drawing near. Stores are packed with mothers, teary-eyed kids in tow, shopping for back-to-school clothes. Some of the girls don’t mind, but most kids know vacation time is ending and that makes them sad.

Very few of us know when Easter arrives unless a calendar is handy. It never falls on the same date and no bunnies appear to remind us.

The date for Halloween is, and always has been, the last day in October. I know this because it is my all-time favorite holiday. Kids arrive giggling, singing out, “Trick or Treat” all dressed up in cute costumes. Moms and dads accompany them to see that they don’t run out in the streets or trip and fall in their goofy get-ups.

The kids all tote sacks, bags and, in some cases, pillow cases, to collect as much loot as possible to drag home. Occasionally, we see plastic pumpkins but they don’t hold as much booty — maybe that’s why mom’s buy them.

I just love to see the kids have a special day, clearly just for them, that they always enjoy. When I tell the little tykes to grab a handful of candy from my giant bowl, we are both surprised at how much they can get in one hand. Some have gotten crafty, they hand their bags to Mom or Dad so they can dig in with both hands.

So Halloween — a holiday that comes at the same time each year — is beginning to get puzzling. I always wonder how much candy to buy. This year, I’m considering a mask, however, I don’t know if I should put the lighted pumpkin in the window or a wreath, I’m so confused. I’ve received mail asking for donations for “Toys for Tots,” and I just got my first Christmas card. When I walked in the store to buy my candy, a giant Santa and bunch of Christmas trees greeted me.

I know everyone has been skipping Thanksgiving in the rush to get to Christmas. After all it’s only about a big, stuffed turkey and family gatherings, but did someone switch the dates for Christmas and Halloween?

I’m not going to wear a Santa suit when I greet my trick-or-treaters, but I wonder if I should give out candy canes instead of Halloween candy.

News flash: I saw this bulletin on the web — No trick: Across the U.S., Halloween is being bumped for football. It seems because Halloween falls on a Friday, it conflicts with high school homecomings and other football events so schools are shifting Halloween’s date in their communities.

Is no holiday sacred?


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