Well, it’s officially September, so I guess I can say this: Happy Fall. That’s right, I’m calling it, two weeks and two days early which is hardly significant if you suffer from PDHE. I’ve had it since I was little–Public Display of Holiday Enthusiasm–and a common side effect is launching into seasonal festivities before they’re actually due. Forget this “Official First Day of Season” crap. The calendar I measure all things in life by is the one Target sends out to their set-up crew employees for those specialty back aisles erected three months before the holiday they’re promoting. In fact, I got so excited for the Christmas aisles going up the day after Halloween last year, that I was with the set-up employees as they put them up: “Um, ma’am, we’re not quite ready yet. You might want to come back tomorrow when we’re finished.”
“What’s your name tag say? Phil? Yeah thanks, Phil, but no. Let me help! Pass me that box of tinsel. OH MY GOD, PHIL! THESE REINDEER PILLOWS!”
The fact is, one day is simply not enough to celebrate my enthusiasm for holidays. Remember, I’m a minimalist. Just kidding. Honey, there are 18 tricycles, 9 scooters, a bike with a broken chain and two pogo balls in my garage on the off chance we’ll host a big driveway party and need them all to make sure every kid feels included and has a toy. Minimalist genes don’t run in my family, and PDHE certainly doesn’t jive well with KonMari’s approach because, in case you haven’t noticed, ALL the holiday things bring me great joy. All of them. My life motto: MORE TWINKLE LIGHTS, and Marie Kondo can whittle down my collection of holiday knick-knacks when she pries them from my cold, dead hands.
I find this time of year gets a little tricky though with PDHE. There’s a split crowd, and the ones fighting for the preservation of “the season it still is” aren’t always so understanding of premature ejaculation of holiday spirit. Listen, we can’t help it. It’s a condition. I once knew a girl (who shall not be named to protect her identity) who posted a photo of a Christmas tree on November 1 with the caption “Yay! It’s that time of year!,” and her social media community paid to have her killed. Okay, I made that up. But I thought I should be transparent here and tell you and that late August, when I post a picture of a beach on my Instagram to appease the “Too Early!” crowd, just know that my caption “Still loving summer!” is code for “I’ve already put in 6 hours of research on ways to decorate with hay bales, and there’s a pumpkin pathway up my driveway.” K? Good, glad we’re straight.
Another problem with PDHE is that we’re not really into the subtle decorating thing. I see your simple white-pumpkin-against-white-walls scene that subtly whispers “faaaaaaallll” (Does it?), and I raise you some decorating vomit of a giant “HARVEST” sign next to my cornucopia of glittered pumpkins in the room I just painted “Autumn Blaze Orange” for this very occasion. Why whisper “Fall” when you can scream it? Listen, I don’t do surface relationships well. I want intimacy, and this year will be my 38th year with Fall. “Subtly” isn’t how I want to celebrate; we’re past that. Go ahead, September. You can touch my boobs.
The problem with living in a tropical climate though is that we don’t have weather shifts to signal seasonal changes and upcoming holidays. The only thing we really have to launch us into festive displays of enthusiasm are shop aisles and the release of merchandise that leaves no room for questioning the calendar. Who needs the sight of the first robin to mark spring when there are 200 packages of pink sugar-coated Peeps that told me in Target three weeks ago? Our cider mills, our hay rides, our pumpkin patches, our tree farms? Why, we find them in the aisles of Hobby Lobby, in the end caps of Target, in the wreath rows at Homegoods. These places are Messengers of God to a PDHE living in the hot holes of southern Florida, and because he’s a gracious giver, he grants us access early–pinecone turkeys in September, snow-dusted evergreen boughs in October.
Hey Mom, can I have this pumpkin? Thanks.
These establishments are holiday churches in a way, and walking through the garland-strung aisles of fall splendor in any of these stores sets off a rush of dopamine that puts me in a full-flung pleasure stupor. The pumpkin-shaped molds for little individual spice cakes? Great joy. The Halloween cat tights and dangly skeleton earrings? Great joy. The wheat bundles I have no idea how to decorate with but love them just the same? Great joy, great joy, great joy.
So, forgive me now as I prematurely break forth into Seasonal Festivities Mode. From here to forth, you may see me wearing tights on hot days, skipping beach outings to bake pumpkin bread and throwing around the word “cozy” far more times than you can handle. “Tone it down” isn’t a phrase you’ll hear around here until the last of Target’s Christmas aisles are picked over and cleared out. It’s time to dial it up–because, after all, it’s Fall.
Happy September, folks.