Falling Too Far?



I am a huge fan of
holidays and seasonal decorations. This is evident to anyone who has ever visited my condo anytime
from September through January…February?…okay, I’ve been known to leave up the
occasional snowman into March. Point is, I’m not denying that I’m a sucker for
all things seasonal. I frequent the Christmas Tree Shops more than most New
England retirees and have more crates of decorations stored in my parents’
basement than, well, my parents. (They’d make me move them, if they didn’t know
who was to blame. After all, I didn’t buy myself Christmas china at the age of

Still, despite my
love of holidays and all things seasonal, I can’t help but think we might be
taking it a bit too far. This year, even more than in years past, it seems just
about everything has been converted into a fall flavored, scented, or themed
variety. I buy pumpkin candles in bulk, drink pumpkin spiced coffee, and
usually plow my way single handedly through a bag of candy corn (the harvest
mix, with the funky flat-bottomed ‘pumpkins’). Pumpkins are part of fall in New
England. The natural non-food-colored, non-artificially scented kind actually
grow here and are harvested in September and October. So I have no problem
getting behind a few pumpkin-related products.

But the fall frenzy
has gone far beyond that. Now there are seasonal soaps, paper towels, and even
bathroom spray. Clearly nothing says fall like pumpkin-scented poo. Except
maybe candy corn Oreos, M&M’s, or, my favorite, toothpaste. Should we
really be encouraging our children to rub sweet orange goo into their teeth?

It seems for each everyday product there’s a seasonal version. Now I’m not naive; I
understand this is how companies market and make money off people like me, who
get a little too excited over some orange coloring added to their favorite
products. Still, I wonder if they’re actually killing part of the fun of the
holidays. Certain treats and scents are supposed to appear in limited
quantities for a short time each year. Candy corn and pumpkins belong in the
fall, pine trees and peppermint in the winter, and tulips and Peeps come
Easter. When I walk into a store in March and see pink candy corn or stumble
upon pumpkin Peeps in October, I’m not excited, I’m confused. (Okay, I’m a
little excited about the year-round Peeps, but just the look of the pastel
candy corn disgusts me.) If everything we look forward to about the holidays
and the season changes are at our fingertips all year, where’s the

Maybe I’m just
bitter that I’m too young for the elastic waist paints that would allow me to
enjoy all these new fall-themed treats and too old to get away with using the
Halloween toothpaste. Or maybe I, like the rest of the overly materialistic
world, forgot what I really love about fall: the crunch of leaves, the smell of
the first frost, the way the sunlight seems softer, and pumpkins, real ones,
that provide us with the last punch of color before grey November skulks in.

Now, where’d I hide
that last Cadbury ‘Screme Egg’?


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