Halloween is over. Merry Christmas.
We have a lot of work to do before Dec. 25, so I’m going to need you all to focus.
Hopefully you got last week’s memo and made sure to eat all your Halloween candy immediately after trick-or-treating was over. Any leftover Halloween candy must be unwrapped, melted down and remolded into festive holiday shapes, ideally with a drizzle of peppermint frosting on top. No exceptions.
Please clear your yards of any Halloween decor — tombstones, fake spider webbing, pumpkins — and make sure the area is prepped for light-up candy canes, long strands of twinkling colored LEDs and no fewer than three inflatable Christmas characters, including at least one Santa Claus (minimum height: 3 feet).
We only have 49 days until Christmas, and the clock is ticking. Try to keep up.
Have you planned your Christmas meal yet? No? Well, that’s just great. Good luck finding yams to candy and a decent ham at this late date. You’re really screwing this up.
I realize there has been some grumbling about this year’s timeline. I hear people saying, “It’s too soon!” or “What about Thanksgiving, doesn’t that come first?”
You people make me nuts. Thanksgiving used to come first, but if you paid even the slightest bit of attention to the memo we sent out in August you would know the traditional Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas order of holidays has been strategically transitioned to a more cost-effective model.
The loan company LendEDU conducted a study that found American consumers spend a measly $2.98 billion on Thanksgiving dinner. But the National Retail Federation is predicting more than $720 billion in Christmas spending this season.
A simple cost-benefit analysis showed us that Thanksgiving was no longer pulling its weight. In fact, the stress of getting together with relatives, combined with post-Thanksgiving-feats sluggishness, was distracting people from Christmas preparation enough to offset any fiscal benefit the food-centric holiday could offer.
Don’t think of it as canceling Thanksgiving. Just think of it as right-sizing the holiday schedule. We now break up the final months of the year into more practical segments: Halloween; Pre-Black-Friday; Black Friday; Post-Black-Friday; Pre-Christmas; and Christmas.
Black Friday, of course, starts on the Thursday that used to be Thanksgiving (now known as the final day of Pre-Black Friday) and extends through the Friday following what used to be Thanksgiving. Then it’s the Post-Black-Friday season until Dec. 11, at which time the two-week Pre-Christmas season begins. That is followed, of course, by Christmas, which begins on Dec. 25 and continues until next Halloween.
Honestly, I can’t believe I had to go through all that again. If you people really cared about Christmas (and you should’ve started caring weeks ago), you would READ THE MEMOS!!
We are in the process of finalizing a nationwide turkey ban that Congress will pass during an emergency session prior to the end of Pre-Black Friday. This is a precautionary step to ensure a smooth transition away from Thanksgiving.
If you spot friends or neighbors purchasing cranberry sauce or setting up gourd-filled wicker cornucopias, please report them immediately to local authorities. Chances are they also plan to ignore mandatory pre-December hall-decking laws. You do these tryptophan-addicted scofflaws no favors by letting them get away with non-Christmas-related activity.
To go with the overall schedule change, we have added several new Christmas carols you should start learning now. They include: “The 49 Days of Christmas”; “I Heard the Bells on Black Friday Eve”; “Post-Black-Friday Blues (My Baby Took a Turkey and Ran)”; “Shopping, Shopping, Shopping, Shop! (That’s What the Lord Would Have Us Do)”; and “Grandma Will Soon Get Run Over by a Reindeer.”
Lyrics for those songs and others were in the September memo, which I’m sure you all saved, right? Or did you delete it? You people are impossible. I’ll resend the memo, but if we get to Mid-Post-Black Friday Mass and you don’t know the words, that’s on you. Understand?
Are your holiday cards ready yet? You should get those done and in the mail by the end of the week. (Keep in mind that if you have a pet, the animal must be in your Christmas card photo wearing a Santa hat or, at minimum, felt reindeer antlers. That includes pet fish.)
At home, you should be using only coffee mugs that carry witty Christmas slogans along the lines of: “Bah Hum-Mug”; “Jolly AF”; “Let’s Get Lit!” (only if it includes a drawing of a lit-up Christmas tree); and “Don’t Ring Sleigh Bells Until I’ve Had My Coffee!”
Above all else, I hope you all have started your Christmas shopping. If you haven’t, I have one question: Why do you hate both Christmas and America?
GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! Get out there and start enjoying the now-extended holiday season. It’s the most wonderful darn time of the year, for Prancer’s sake.
And it starts RIGHT NOW!
Rex Huppke is a Chicago Tribune columnist.