Eric Douglas: Take seasons -- and holidays -- in their own time

Eric Douglas sig

When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up. I wanted to do the things that my older brother and his friends did. That’s the eternal quest of children. They want to be “big” and do more things.

Of course, as adults, we realize that growing up is a trap and one we would willingly reverse. Time moves much too quickly on its own.

Which brings me to my real point. Why on Earth are we rushing the holidays?

I mentioned this in passing last month but, in the middle of August, Walmart had out Halloween decorations. A clerk told me those decorations would come down in September to make room for Christmas decorations.

I get that there are no good holidays between Labor Day and Halloween. There’s only Columbus Day. Even if that weren’t a bogus holiday (more on that next week), there aren’t decorations for it. Or things to buy.

Somehow we have decided to allow the needs of retail stores to dictate everything we do. The problem (for me) is, I won’t get motivated to do anything for Halloween until a few days before the event. I have very little impulse control when it comes to candy, so I generally avoid buying trick-or-treat supplies until a few days before.

Had I wanted to buy any new decorations for our house, I wouldn’t be able to find anything. They will have long since been removed to make room for Santa and plastic reindeer.

Remember the Bible verse (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) or the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (The Byrds). We have forgotten to allow everything to have its own season.

Other than sounding old and grouchy (Get off my lawn!), I think this indicates a real problem. We believe we are supposed to do things, so we try to rush to be the first to get there.

For the retail stores, the longer they can push Christmas sales, the better off they will be. They want to get Halloween out of the way so they can move on to Christmas – and start telling us we need to go into debt to make Christmas special.

I know, some of you are saying “But I like Halloween and I want to prepare for it all month.”

To each his own, but it seems like when we allow retail needs to dictate holidays, we water them down and lose their significance.

Just like the desire to “grow up.” It was easy to get so focused on doing what the big kids did, you failed to stop and appreciate just how cool it was to just be a kid.

Eric Douglas, of Pinch, is the author of “Return to Cayman,” “Heart of the Maya,” “Cayman Cowboys,” “River Town” and other novels. He is also a columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine and a former Charleston Newspapers Metro staff writer. For more information, visit or contact him at

Funerals for Saturday, October 19,2019

Alexander, Jeanette - 11 a.m., Stockert-Paletti Funeral Home, Flatwoods.

Anderson, Dolores - 3 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Basham, Harry - 11 a.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

Bell, Don - 2 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Brown, Michele - 1 p.m., Grace Bible Church, Charleston.

Dooley, Ronnie - 2 p.m., Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dunbar, Jessie - 2 p.m., Ripley Church of Christ, Ripley.

Goodall, Emma - 2 p.m., Memorial Funeral Home, Princeton.

Grose, Roland - 1 p.m., Wilson-Smith Funeral Home, Clay.

Hedrick, Josephine - 1 p.m., Smathers Funeral Chapel, Rainelle.

Hopkins, Betty - 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Hunt, Betty - 1:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Jarrell, Linda - 2:30 p.m., Memory Gardens, Madison.

Jarvis, Monuey - 2 p.m., Unity Gospel Tabernacle, Nebo.

Lewis, Evelyn - 1 p.m., Cross Lanes Baptist Church, Cross Lanes.

McClanahan, Patricia - 2 p.m., Goff-McClanahan Cemetery, Charleston.

McDaniel, Janet - 1 p.m., Norway Avenue Church of Christ Activity Building, Huntington.

Midkiff, Ned - 2 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Mills, Harry - 1 p.m., Emmanuel Baptist Church, Charleston.

Neil Jr., Fred - 1 p.m., Jodie Missionary Baptist Church, Jodie.

O'Dell, Claytus - 2 p.m., Wallace & Wallace Chapel, Rainelle.

O'Leary, David - 11 a.m., Memory Gardens, Madison.

Park, Emily - 11 a.m., Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg.

Rice, Katherine - 1 p.m., Bigson Freewill Baptist Church, Van.

White, Ella - Noon, Charleston Baptist Temple, Charleston.