Category Archives: Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like…Halloween

Even though we’re still a few days out til October, the fall/Halloween season is basically already upon us (at least for an addict like me). To kick off my favorite time of year, my friends and I hit Sweet Fields Farm for their annual corn maze (despite the fact that they don’t offer night tours anymore, the jerks). Although, with the typical sketchy Florida weather, we almost. didn’t. get. to. go. Stupid rain. Apparently you’re not capable of walking through a corn maze if it’s raining (so dumb). But I willed the rain to stop (it was clearly my pleading, not the weather pattern, that cleared the skies) and we made it in with the last admission. And of course had a blast (how could you not in a corn maze?).

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Children of the corn.

Since living in Florida, fall and Halloween have never been quite the same. As someone who lives to be scared and spends their whole year waiting for this one month, I still find plenty of ways to get my scare on and get into the fall spirit, but it’s not like it was living up north, with the changing leaves and the cool, crisp nights, perfect for bonfires and hot chocolate and freezing your butt off while you’re trick-or-treating.

Oh, who am I kidding, who wants to be cold and miserable? I love Florida. I do miss things that were unique to Pennsylvania, like Mazezilla and The Hotel of Horror, but I’ve discovered a few Florida haunts that I’m hoping will pan out and turn into a yearly thing (more on that later). More than anything, I just want to go to a bunch of haunted houses, scream my head off often, watch a lot of terrifying movies and never have it be November 1st.

Also, please bring back my favorite Halloween commercial. K thanks.

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What Easter means to me (absolutely nothing)

About 13 years ago, I found out the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. I was 12 years old.

I’m actually surprised I made it to that age. Nowadays, kids are finding out these mythical creatures don’t actually exist at much younger ages (or maybe I was just an unusually late case; or maybe both). My brother and sister never ruined it for me and my parents let me go on believing, probably (if I had to guess) because they didn’t want to ruin the magic for me. I positively hated them when they told me. I actually threw myself onto the floor, started crying and screaming “you lied to me! my life is over! they aren’t real?! how could you do this to me!?” Or something to that extent, I can’t actually remember verbatim (although my mom remembers vividly, and enjoys telling the story every chance she gets). I don’t blame them for telling me; I was, after all, in middle school by that point, and starting to get into verbal arguments with kids at school over it. Basically, other kids would try and convince me that it wasn’t real, that our parents snuck into our rooms late at night and took the teeth from under our pillows, replacing it with money, or that it was really they who left presents in our stockings and under the tree. I wasn’t buying it. I had hardcore evidence, after all. Like the time “Santa” (aka MY FATHER) left a boot print in the soot inside the chimney. Or how the cookies were ALWAYS gone. And how that one time I heard the reindeer on the roof (still not sure about that one; how could my dad get up on the roof, anyway? It’s not like he was a carpenter and had ladders and spent a lot of time on roofs anyway…oh wait…never mind).

So basically I had my hopes and dreams crushed by my elders, never to trust or believe in anything ever again. And then shortly thereafter, it was Easter Sunday.

We spent the first Easter after “the horrible revelation” at our cousin’s house in Maryland. I remember waking up Easter morning and being so bitter, watching the younger kids joyful and somewhat confused at how a bunny had snuck into the house while everyone slept and left them treats. I, however, knew the truth, and sulked in the corner. My mom pulled me into the laundry room, ashamed and belittled (as she SHOULD feel after destroying her daughter’s dreams forever), and offered me an Easter basket she had put together for me, claiming that even though I knew it was no longer real, she still wanted me to enjoy the holidays and believe in the “magical” part of it all. Whatever that means. I accepted the basket (obviously, there were toys and chocolate in that thing), but I never quite felt the magic the same way from that day forward. Depressing, I know. I never said this story would be happy. Oh wait, it gets better. Not.

So that night my dad calls from our house in Pennsylvania to tell me that my guinea pig, Hairball, had gotten really sick and didn’t look like he was going to make it. My dad stayed with him through the night, holding him and making him as comfortable as he possibly could while he lived out his final moments, but Hairball didn’t make it and I never got a chance to say goodbye. So, while everyone was all excited that Jesus had risen, I had to endure the loss of my childhood innocence AND my loving and faithful pet Hairball. Talk about a rough time.

So Easter doesn’t really hold a special place in my heart anymore. Not that it ever really did, because I’m not religious and don’t really care that “the tomb is empty” or whatever.

But really, what’s the point of celebrating a holiday if a giant (albeit, somewhat scary) bunny ISN’T going to break into your house while you sleep, eat your raw vegetables and leave you candy as a means of saying sorry for the breaking and entering? I just don’t see why I should bother anymore.

Does anyone else remember how they “found out” or have any Easter stories that maybe aren’t so depressing? Do share, I could use a good laugh right now. I guess if all else fails I can just go laugh at this Easter post from last year.

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Why Valentine’s Day is a pointless holiday

Valentine’s Day is stupid.

Out of all the silly holidays and pointless days of celebration we have in our society, this is probably the worst.

If you’re currently single and reading this, you are probably nodding your head in agreement and thanking whatever god you believe in that this isn’t another sappy love post about how Valentine’s Day is so great and I am so lucky to be with the love of my life (which I am, but that’s besides the point).

If you’re a fellow lovebird, you’re probably wondering why someone so head-over-heels in love is being so cynical on such a lovey-dovey holiday.

I like holidays and I like having a reason to get dressed up and feel especially giddy, but I don’t feel the need to participate in such a joke. First of all:

No one needs a reminder that they’re alone. If you don’t have a significant other to celebrate this cheesy holiday with, you certainly shouldn’t have to be reminded of just how lonely you are. Google suicide rates on Valentine’s Day and get back to me.

If you love someone, you shouldn’t need a holiday to express it. Love is love no matter what day of the year it is. I’m crazy about my boyfriend every day, I have been since the beginning. And that’s not me being overdramatic and annoying, it’s just the facts. I love my boyfriend, and I tell him frequently. I don’t love him and remind him of my feelings just because it’s Valentine’s Day and society tells me I should. Sure, I’d like to go out to dinner and have a nice night together just like the next girl, but I don’t need chocolates and jewelry and flowers today any more than I do on any other random day of the week- unless he’s proposing. Then it’s a completely different story.

There are no clear origins. Where did this silly holiday even come from? Sure, there was a Saint Valentine, but he had nothing to do with the holiday. It’s just a stupid excuse of a holiday that Hallmark created to sell greeting cards and chocolate.

I’m mostly turned off by how crazy people get over this holiday, both for and against it. It hardly ranks among even the lowest of the low (like Memorial Day and Flag Day), so it hardly seems deserving of such attention.

 

In reality, though, I’m just bitter because Hallmark insists on relocating any prospective employee to the Midwest (namely, Kansas). There go my dreams of designing greeting cards. Unless I can get my boyfriend to move to Kansas.

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My new year’s resolutions (and more unlikely things I’ll probably never do)

New year's a few years ago. (Not drunk, I swear. I think I was 18 or 19.)

It’s time to bid farewell to 2011. With less than 48 hours ’til the new year, now is the time to look back on the year and appreciate everything it was, both the good and the bad. It’s also time to crank out those silly new year’s resolutions that everyone makes every year but hardly ever sticks to. It’s kind of ridiculous that we feel we can only make these resolutions and changes at the start of a new year- if you want to change something in your life, just do it, you don’t need to wait for a new calendar year- but we make them nonetheless. In no particular order, here are some of my (unlikely) resolutions:

Be less sarcastic. I’m totally capable of that (insert sarcasm here).

Use more sunscreen. It’s hard when you want that perfect Florida glow.

Stop cursing. There was a brief stint where I actually accomplished this. Of course, I was working at a summer camp and was surrounded by 8- and 9-year-olds on a daily basis, so it made it a lot harder to curse (I used phrases like “that stinks” and “aw, man”). But it simply just comes out. I need something to entice me not to do it; maybe I can have Chuck Norris jump out and punch me every time I let one slip.

Watch less TV. It’s less that I watch it and more that I have it on for background noise. (Riiiiiight.)

Stop drinking Red Bull. If it’s so bad for you, why do they make it taste so good?

Eat less chocolate, cookies, candy, etc. I’m a chocoholic. There is no cure. The end.

Go to the dentist. I brush my teeth pretty regularly. Who needs to spend money to have someone else do it? Although I do like when they use that scraper thing on your teeth…

Get up earlier. Who would want to do that anyway?

 

If by now I’ve severely depressed you or made you lose faith in my ability to have self-control or to change, never fear. I do have changes I plan to implement immediately in the new year, and (hopefully) stick to for more than just 2012. Hope you all have something positive to look forward to in the new year! And if you’re going to make resolutions, avoid being lame and stick to them. 🙂

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Choosing a tree (and other reasons why Christmas is tragic)

Oh, Christmas tree.

Whether real or fake, it has long been a tradition to put up a Christmas tree for the holidays. I’m not even sure where the tradition began, and why. Who decided, hey, let’s go outside, cut down a tree and bring it into our house. And while we’re at it, we might as well drape lights and shiny plastic and glittering globes of various colors from its branches. It’s kind of a strange tradition if you think about it.

I also wonder when the idea to incorporate fake, plastic trees into the tradition came about. Either way, I’d say the loyalty is split about 50/50 nowadays.

One of the many trees we brought into our home, loved, and discarded.

We always had a real tree growing up- although I can’t necessarily vouch for my early years of life; it’s very possible we had one or two fake ones when I was a baby, but with my dad’s less-than-friendly disposition toward the idea, I think it’s safe to assume we never did. As a kid, the mess and maintenance involved with having a real tree never mattered to me; my dad always took care of the setup, watering and break-down. Sometimes I’d help by vacuuming the stray needles that littered the floor after bringing the tree in and out of the house. But that was usually the extent of it. Instead, I got to help with the decorating and simply enjoy the tree’s beauty and ambiance. And there was always something comforting and homey about having a real tree, between the scent and the look of it.

Sometimes we would just pick one out among the many pre-cut beauties, deciding which ones were ugly, which were too small, which were too big and which was just right.  Usually we’d cut one down ourselves, though, trudging out into the fields, in the snow and cold, searching for that perfect one. My dad always did the cutting (naturally) but it became a tradition that made the whole concept that much more intimate.

But now, this being my first Christmas in my own place, the idea of a fake tree doesn’t seem as unpleasant. I decided to forgo a tree this year, unsure whether I’d even be around to enjoy it or not. But, although it saddens me to think I won’t have a real tree again (at least for awhile), the ease and convenience of a fake tree is becoming more and more appealing. The cost of a freshly-cut tree can get expensive, up into the hundreds for a real good one, and when you’re done enjoying it for a month or so, you throw it out. Sure, a fake tree (a decent one, not one of those ugly, tacky ones) is probably not cheap either. But what, you spend a few hundred once, and then you have it for years to come. You pull it out of storage once a year, set it up, and that’s it, no watering, no maintenance, no falling needles to litter the floor and prick your feet. The idea still bums me out, but I still have a year to think about it.

For now I will just try and focus on not thinking about what’s coming next, what happens to the real trees after they’ve served their purpose- or for those unlucky ones that were never bought, after they’ve been rejected over and over again. I always wondered what happened to the ones nobody wanted, but the older I get, the less I try to think about it. The outlook is bleak, and the more I let myself dwell on the thought, the more depressed I become.

Quite frankly, I mourn for you, Christmas tree. Not only are you disrespected by the millions of plastic wannabes that adorn shop windows the day after Halloween (and sometimes before), but for those who are lucky enough to be cut down and loved (for however long a time) your life is short-lived. When we’re done using you, when we’ve gotten everything we can out of you, when we no longer need you or care about you, you are tossed out, lost among the other trash, the crumpled wrapping paper, the empty boxes, the broken ornaments. You are nothing more than a decoration, and once you’ve served your purpose, we move on.

You mean nothing. You are forgotten.

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