Friday, October 14, 2005

I imagine Chris Columbus in a Nixon mask...

I'm always a little reluctant to rely on my 12 years of Catholic education since, at the time at least, it seemed to lag behind that of the local public schools. (Perhaps the diocese was so busy shuffling around pedophiles that no one was watching the curriculum?)

But I do have a vague memory of being taught that Columbus Day is supposed to commemorate Christopher Columbus in some way or another.

However, in this little slice of suburbia I currently call home, Columbus Day seems to be the day nearly everyone in our development (except us, of course) decorates the front of their houses for Halloween.

And I'm not talking a few cobwebs here and there. There are full-scale productions (with orange twinkle lights, for heaven's sake!) being staged on the overly manicured lawns.

So, I'm thinking, "Did I miss something in grade school that would explain this phenomenon? Did Columbus sail across the ocean blue in some sort of cheesy nylon costume?" (Chamber maid perhaps? Probably would have made the trip go by faster...)

Were the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria haunted by ghouls and/or goblins? Did the ships carry chests full of fun-size Snickers bars that Columbus liked to toss out to pirates encountered along the way?

Just looking for a connection here folks...

Don't get me wrong, I really do like Halloween. I just like it the last week of October. Putting a church cemetery's worth of pun-filled fake gravestones in your front yard on October 10th doesn't do it for me.

It's like some sort of grade school teacher mentality, where you feel compelled to decorate for each season.

But personally I do not need "theme" for my house, other than it's normal pseudo-Victorian-as-interpreted-in-1992 facade.

All this too-early decorating just dilutes the "magic" of the actual festivities. By the time Halloween actually arrives, the kids will have gotten so used to the decor that it will barely be noticed.

And Halloween becomes nothing more than conspicuous consumerism and candy lust.

(Umm, not that there’s anything particularly wrong with candy lust in and of itself, especially if the object of desire is a Reese’s cup or Snickers.)


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