One trip to the stores and it’s obvious that it’s Halloween.
Piled high next to the pumpkins are mounds of trick-or-treat candy, stealing the spotlight.
It’s not by accident the stores strategically place candy displays near the checkout lines.
It’s cause for major rubber necking traffic for kids — a minefield of the gimme’s that can detonate parents at a moment’s notice.
It’s hard to blame the kids, after all.
When I think back to trick-or-treat as a child, Halloween was always about FREE CANDY!
There was so much anticipation about the loot I’d score that night, I couldn’t wait to charge out to sweat like a pig in my costume. Not to mention the mask that I’d want to destroy by the end of the night.
It wasn’t always worth it, though. Once in a while you’ll find a pack of raisins thrown in, or heaven forbid, an apple.
But there was always hope for that bag of M&M’s or better yet — a bag of Whoppers (score!).
It turns out that Halloween isn’t the only time for this grab-bag experience.
If you look beyond the candy, you’ll find Christmas lights blinking behind turkey displays.
It’s reality. The holidays that follow are just like a trick-or-treat bag — you don’t know what someone will throw in there.
Nevertheless, Thanksgiving and Christmas remain the Fun Size Snickers bars that really satisfy.
In anticipation, I’m preparing some posts for the holidays.
In hopes of whipping up some Faith Barista drinks that you’ll enjoy, I’d like to hear from you.
Please share your holiday trick-or-treats:
What are your holiday stress points?
What are you hoping to find in your holidays this year?
What are some other topics you’d like to see covered (doesn’t have to be holiday related)?
As for Halloween, I wish you many M&M’s and Whoppers.
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We recently were sponsored by Hershey’s for an event at work. They gave us 1,800 lbs of Reese’s and KitKats. We maybe used only about half for the event. I now have boxes and boxes of these fun sized candies in the office. I cannot give these away. I’m starting to loath Reese’s and KitKats because I’ve been over indulging in them and they are no longer a “treat”.
Sometimes the holidays become just that. They are no longer a treat. They become those sucky pencils or circus peanuts that people give out. Sometimes an over indulgence of the holidays makes the festivities no longer fun. You get burnt out by being the one to cook all the Thanksgiving meals and host the Christmas Parties, while directing the church play and singing in the choir.
I say all of this to say, don’t let your ton of holiday duty Reese’s become your holiday circus peanuts. 🙂 Maybe an article about take a break to focus on what the holidays are really about: Family, friends, and of course, Christ.
Well, this year there’s some stress related to where we will be living. We’ve been in the process of selling our house which may or may not go through and we’re wrapped in a big ball of unknown. I don’t know that this is what you are looking for, but that’s our biggest stress for the holidays! 🙂
I will have to live vicariously through your posts cuz NONE of those holidays are celebrated over here (even Christmas. sniff. sniff).
I too lived for the candy as a child, and even today, candy corns are my favorite candy! Its funny, cuz from your mention of “sweating in your costume” I can totally tell where you live. It was the opposite for us, growing up in MIcigan/NY we froze to death in ours.
I’m excited about your holiday posts….I need some holiday spirit as I tend not to have any without being bombarded with it. I miss that though!
I find it hard to decorate for the holidays. I have tacky taste. I love the multicolored lights thing and so many Christmas tschkes out that there is no room to put a coaster and leave a drink. I look at tasteful Christmas displays in magazines, and instead of wishing I could do that, I find it cold and barren for such a joyous holiday, while deep down knowing the truth is that I am tacky.
That felt good to get off my chest.
How about Christmas decor and gifts on a budget?
What am I hoping to find in the holidays this year? My wish list for Santa:
* End wars everywhere in the world, allowing families to be whole again
* End incivility, the little rudenesses that create portraits of the people we don’t think we are
* End gimmes and disappointments at what is received by everyone giving nothing and being grateful for the gift of life itself
* Put Christ back into Christmas and celebrate by lighting candles and saying prayers and singing the most glorious of carols
I hate the “gimme” attitude of the holidays. I love holidays and celebrations, but the selfish, consumer-driven attitudes gives me that “bah, humbug” feeling.
I do everything in my power to keep things focused on what I call the “3 F’s”: Faith, Family, and Friends. When we focus on those, then the consumer-driven part is no longer a burden, but a fun part of the celebration.
I’ve always been inspired by the advent conspiracy: http://www.adventconspiracy.org/ Be sure to check out the video if you haven’t already.
Living simply during the holiday season is always tricky, so I would enjoy posts that include some practical ideas about how to attempt it. Also, last year I really appreciated bloggers who highlighted some of the older traditions/ liturgy surrounding Advent. It’s always nice to be reminded of our connection to Christ-followers from long ago.
This holiday season, I’m looking for – time to write (starting book #2!), time to reflect, time to continue reading this blog, and time to spend building meaningful community with the people around me. That’s tough to do in the midst of TV, Twitter, Facebook, to-do lists, meetings, and deadlines!
We have been trying to keep our Holiday season(s) as simple as possible. Last year, with the exception of our own children…….we kept giving to a minimum and dove into making homemade gifts such as soap, knitted items, trail mix, recipe jars…..it was fun to spend time with friends while making the homemade presents, which was a gift in itself.
We did The Jesse Tree last year, which was a nightly devotional starting Dec 1st where we went through the Old Testament to Jesus’s birth…….reading Scripture and making an ornament for each night. I made a blog about it and plan on rerunning it this year if you want to follow along.
It’s such a beautiful time of the year … and such a natural time … to share the real story …
Thanks for everyone’s comments. They were idea-inspiring…
@Brett: Wow. This is some good writing, Brett. “don’t let your ton of holiday duty Reese’s become your holiday circus peanuts.” Very nice. Love it.
@Jason: I can imagine, Jason. Thanks… It’s already sparking some ideas for a post…
@Maureen: “It was the opposite for us, growing up in MIcigan/NY we froze to death in ours.” LOL… LOL… Okay, you’ve given me the green light to get sentimental on ya’… Chestnuts roasting over an open fire…
@Helen: What are you talking about? Tacky’s my favorite Christmas decor… ! LOL.
@Kristine: This one might not be my forte. But, I do have a Faith Barista special post on the topic of gift giving.
@Maureen: What a great list for Santa.. and ideas, Maureen! Thank you.
@Rachel: “I love holidays and celebrations, but the selfish, consumer-driven attitudes gives me that “bah, humbug” feeling. ” I agree. Just ruins that special feeling, huh?
@RachelE: Thanks for the link. Enjoyed the video. I like your ideas. Thanks for sharing your hopes for the season.
@Michelle: I didn’t know about the Jesse Tree. How meaningful. So awesome you had the stamina to hand/heart make so much for you friends. I’m sure it was memorable for you children & the recipients.
@Susan: Yes. Beauty makes it easy to share such an amazing story…
I love the holiday season, but my biggest struggle during this time is the division I experience year-round between church and family. I’m the first person from my clan to come to know Christ and so the extra services, time spent decorating the church and all of the extra social time cuts into time spent with those I grew up with. I find myself compromising to be with both of the groups that I love so much. That’s not uncommon as we all have to do that, I just wish I could merge the family right into those other times though because frankly, that would mean that my parents, sister and brother-in-law and nephew (among others) would find themselves in God’s presence!
Fortunately, this spurns me on in my intercession for my family even more and frankly, I get to feel very loved this time of year because there are too many places to go and people to see.
Hi Bonnie, I had the same reaction as Maureen. I swear: Every Oct. 30 in Iowa would be decent, but by Oct. 31, we were under 30 degrees….
I remember once going as a “Pillow Person,” and I had to walk all through town with my arms held over my head, to keep my “pillow head” mobilized. Worst. Costume. Ever.
Stress points? I’d love to have you whip up a Faith Barista for this one, because I feel guilty to even mention it.
Holidays present too much to be enjoyed. If I could pick and choose, I’d only observe about each holiday the part that honors God and genuinely enriches the lives of others. But I also want to honor others, so I indulge the parts they enjoy and am my cheerful best about it.
I can just tolerate the extra expenses and prolific candy (which makes me the bad guy to limit my kids’ consumption). But the God-substitutes and time expenses tax me to my limit, and allow less if any time to enjoy what I find meaningful.
@Jake: You definitely sound loved. What a contrast of emotions, as you stand as bridge between those you love. Thnx for adding this experience to the mix. What a place of prominence you have to love your family, Jake. Great to have your visit here!
@Jennifer: Oh, no! Being the Pillow Person definitely sounds very tiring! I’m imagining a little popsicle-frozen Jennifer knocking on doors. I’d give you a whole Snickers bar, for sure! LOL. 😉
@Anne: Don’t feel guilty! I’m sure you are not alone. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for coming to the SC giveaway at InCourage. Always nice to hear a familiar voice! 🙂
[…] a month ago, I wrote a post asking you to share what are your holiday stresses. Thank you for commenting! In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some thoughts, inspired […]