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Help! I Suffer from PDHE–Public Display of Holiday Enthusiasm

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.

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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.

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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.

4-foot “HARVEST” on barn wood sign. Too much? I kid, I kid.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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Leave a Comment
  1. I love this post so much! You can shout your PDHE from the roof tops and we will still love you!

  2. “premature ejaculation of holiday spirit” LMAO!!!!!!

  3. “Go ahead, September. You can touch my boobs”

    I just spit hot tea all over my computer.

    This is my new motto, thank you.

    From the never ending furnace of Arizona, I am right there with you on this one.

  4. “Premature ejaculation of holiday spirit.” LMAO! 😂😂😂

  5. Shannon Brown says:

    HAHA omg, Kelle one of your best!! “Go ahead, September. You can touch my boobs.” LOL!!!

  6. Chrissy Faught says:

    Is Lainey wearing make-up or is that sweet face even more perfect than should be allowed? They are ALL growing up so fast!

  7. Dammit…is that your Target? I was in mine yesterday & their back area is still full of back to school stuff. My head would explode if I was in that store, despite the fact that I have no less than 4 bins of Autumn Splendor in my garage! You can never have too many wheat bundles.

  8. this post cracked my ass up! :)

  9. Glade candles have a fall scent called Warm Flannel Embrace.

  10. Ah thank you for this. Not that I’m fanatical about holiday decorating (though there’s certainly orange twinkle lights and corn stalks on the porch), but for making slight allowance for humans who have not yet managed to minimalize their life into stripped down order. I have got the increasing vibe from social media in recent years that I’m a failure as a human if I haven’t yet found the time or desire to konmari my life. Haha.

  11. * drives around with minivan windows down shooting Halloween spider webs out of a t-shirt cannon* Let me know when you find a rehab facility for PDHE, we can be roommates 👊🏻

  12. I’m right there with you! I (kind of) tried to minimalist my house, I just got really sad. I love celebrating life and special events. Now I have another to add to my list, some friends have invited me to celebrate Diwali with them!! My first Diwali I can’t wait!!!!!

  13. Haha, imagine how it is for those of us in the southern hemisphere when it’s not even going to be autumn until next year but the decorative pumpkiny goodness is so tempting!

  14. Best post ever.

  15. I am a firm believer of stay in the season you’re currently in and I always hang on to every last morsel of summer that I possibly can. Add to that I am also a minimalist, however – I love this and genuinely love your enthusiasm for the holidays. I always love these seasonal posts :)

  16. With you all the way on this! Give me ALL THE FALL!!!! Love it so much! Enjoy! And hey—-18 bikes in the garage could certainly come in handy!

  17. “Go ahead, September. You can touch my boobs.” is, perhaps, the funniest statement I have ever read! Go September!

  18. Shout it loud and shout it prouuuud girl! FALL DECOR HAS ARRIVED! GIVE ME ALL THE PUMPKINS! I literally debated over two seasonal lawn decorations for a good 20 minutes in Michael’s today. I could barely contain myself zipping down the aisles of holiday goodness. Love this post!

  19. Love the post! Premature ejaculation of holiday spirit had me cracking up at work. But I will watch Fall from afar. I don’t start decorating until October 1st – I just can’t. Even here in New England where the leaves are already starting to change. I can deal with other people if they want to decorate for fall in September – it is those people whose Halloween decorations are already up drive me a little batty. People complain about Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving (we decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving (and I mean 9 days later, not 2 days later), but 2 months of Halloween is just TOO much!
    But I did take joy this past weekend in moving my spring/St Patrick’s Day/Easter/4th of July decorations to the back in order to pull Fall/Thanksgiving to the front where they would be easily accessibly when the time comes (and yes, Christmas is always accessible because I have 3 times more Christmas decorations than all other decorations combined!)

  20. Finally! I’ve been diagnosed!!! I’m planning on busting out the pumpkins this weekend.

  21. I’m with ya. When the school buses roll, the house goes into fall mode. Never mind the Virginia leaves won’t change until November, we’re rocking fall in this house right now!


  22. YES!!! I found another 3 pairs of vintage Halloween taper candles at the thrift store yesterday and I am sad that I have no one near by to share in my enthusiasm. From another PDHE….er…..sufferer doesn’t seem like the right word here…..I am happy to have a kindred spirit in you. Now keep all of those tricycles and hay bales dry, and be safe this week!

  23. New Hampshire is the place for all things Fall! Hayrides, apple picking, changing leaves, crisp mornings, pumpkins, cider, boots, and sweaters abound. Sometimes I forget how awesome it is, but this post has me excited to go out and enjoy. Bring it on!

  24. I am so glad to finally have a name for my condition. I love this post so much and my favorite line of all time, “Go ahead, September. You can touch my boobs.”

  25. Yeah, I finally have a diagnosis. Thanks Dr. PDHE for the much anticipated diagnosis! Carry on with the festivities!

  26. “premature ejaculation of holiday spirit” and “decorating vomit” – I may have snorted at my desk – LOVE this post!

  27. All the Fall things!!!

    I live in Bermuda… I spent last Sunday with my AC on full blast, underneath a cozy throw blanket on the couch with a pumpkin scented candle burning while it was a bazillion degrees outside with 90% humidity.

    I’m with ya!

  28. This is such hilarious post! I love this! I totally relate!!
    Elise ~ http://www.elisebythepiece.com

  29. Hoping that you and your family are all safe from hurricane Irma!

    Take care!

  30. I just laughed so hard I snorted!

    Go ahead, September… You can touch my boobs!!!

    YES! HAHAHA! Thank you for the laugh!

    Also, I am hoping that Bitch, Irma, gets what she deserves!

  31. Soooo funny, I almost spit out my morning coffee! That totally made my day. Thank you!

  32. Sending you, your family and friends thoughts and prayers from NY this weekend as your brace for Hurricane Irma!

  33. Sending many prayers to you and your family, plus all the other families in your state. Stay safe and keep us updated!!!

  34. I thought I was the only one who let Fall feel her up 😉 😉

  35. I’ve been checking in constantly, hoping to hear that you guys are evacuating! Praying that y’all stay safe during this wild storm!!

  36. I practically sang, danced and yes, I DID smile all the way through this! I’m a big holiday and seasonal decorating person too — or as one of my very good (still) friends once put it one December, “it looks like Christmas threw up in your house — but tastefully.”

    I confess, I am having a hard time parting with summer, though. I’m not quite ready for the full orange yet, but gourds and copper made their way out of the basement today, the table linens took a decidedly fall turn and the mums are here. The pumpkins and Halloween come out October 1 but the wreath will be on the door as soon as I foof it up for this year. Ah, yes. Marie Kondo can pry my stuff out of my hot grubby hands, too — and she’ll have to work at it!

  37. Prayers for your safety from Irma! Always enjoy your blog.

  38. Praying for you, your home and your family,

  39. I heard that you are in the evacuation zone.. Praying for you and your family…

  40. Julie Ousley says:

    I’m with you! Holidays are happiness! Who wants to limit happiness?

  41. ROsemary Su says:

    I love the decorations as well. Dining table done for fall as we’ll as the rest of the house. Celebrate the seasons!

  42. Then there is PSDHE – Post Seasonal Dumping of Holiday Enthusiasm. On the sale aisle at Target when the next onslaught of seasonal decor is shipped in, at garage sales, at the thrift store, the landfills, the floating islands of plastic in the oceans.
    Would it be SUCH a bad thing if we could all curb our enthusiasm for at least the non-compostable items?

  43. Hello Kelle!
    Thinking of you and your family hope you all are safe and sound

  44. Thinking of you and hoping you are all safe from the storm.

  45. Dear Kelle,
    At the Moment I watch the news in TV in Germany. I Hope you and your Family are Safe…

  46. Hoping you and your family are safe! Thought of you throughout Irma’s fury in Florida and surrounding areas!

  47. Anna Espich says:

    I love you. That is all. Carry on.

  48. You kill me! I read this most crying tears of laughter. You have such a gift for writing and entertaining.

  49. I die. This post was hilarious in so many ways! Love, love reading your posts-you are amazing!

  50. Hahaha – Go ahead September, you can touch my boobs. I love that so much! I am so the same way. We had a couple of mornings that were in the low 60’s and I busted out my pumpkins and told my husband it was officially time to start listening to Christmas music (o:

  51. I now know what I have! PDHE! This post made me laugh so much! Thanks

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