Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. Today is officially Halloween and we’re less than a month away from Thanksgiving — less than two months from Christmas.

My community held its version of trick or treat last night and I had a good turnout. The first group of kids showed up about a half hour before the event was to begin, and by the end of the night, I had pretty much dispensed of everything I had.

And, most of them obeyed the sign I taped onto the side of the candy container — “2 pieces,” so I had enough through the night.

I enjoyed trick or treat as a kid, and now that I have my own place I feel compelled to return some of that joy. I always hated when I’d walk down a street dotted with lots of porch lights on — meaning they were participating — and then arrive at one where the lights were off and nobody seemed to care.

So, when it’s trick or treat season, my light is on and my candy dish is full.

Other holidays

This year, I also plan to experiment with some new Christmas lights. I didn’t display any last year because I had just moved in to my own place and was watching my money very closely. I’m still watching it pretty closely, but you have to have a little fun sometimes!

I’m not planning to light up my entire property, but I did buy three-four sets of bulbs that I’m going to string around some bushes and an outdoor pine tree. I’m also in the market for a decent artificial Christmas tree. I’ve seen some at the box stores for under $100, but the ones I like most are twice as much. And then there’s the bulbs and decorations, which could easily push the cost to around $300.

I’m not complaining, just saying — that some of these holidays can get expensive. The nice thing is, a good tree will last many years if properly cared for.

And, I’m not looking to buy those huge outdoor decorations. I’ve seen some inflatable snowmen in stores that are bigger than the highest point of my house. To me, those are a little much, and perhaps a little hideous.

In moderation

The other thing I’ve learned is, whatever you put up has to come down. I don’t believe in leaving Christmas lights and decorations up year-round. If you do, forgive me for the criticism.

And, while I’d like to buy an artificial tree for the living room, I could use a “real” tree near the corner of my lot, where the old one has long since been taken down. And I could also devote some money toward buying “real” household light bulbs, and the electric bill to keep them lit.

But enough cynicism. The holidays only come around once a year, and this year I’m not going to let them pass unnoticed. I’m not going to rush to the store and buy a bunch of things on credit cards.

But there’s an element of fun that’s supposed to be enjoyed during these days. It costs some extra money to do so, but it’s usually a lot of fun in the end.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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