Perhaps nice for small families with little children, but a minefield for many extended families, let alone the lonely.
‘Halloween’ (All Hallows Eve) in the religious calendar is for remembering the dead, the saints and martyrs – probably mixed up with the end of summer, harvest home, and pre-Christian festivals for those things too. Turning it into lollies and vandalism is not in anyone’s interests, certainly not for children, their behaviour, their teeth or their nutrition.
‘Thanksgiving’ was the Harvest Festival, when the Pilgrim Fathers had survived a summer with enough food to last through the winter. In a nation with serious obesity problems, a festival based on lots of food surely deserves a re-think.
‘Christmas’ is the time for celebrating the birth of Jesus. It has been overtaken by gift buying (and of course more food). If you actually read the New Testament, the three wise men who came from the East were not at the crib in Bethlehem with their presents. They went first to Herod, who sent them off to find the ‘young child’. When they didn’t return promptly, Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents, all boys under two. An accurate celebration might mean waiting a couple of years to hand over gold, frankincense or myrrh, then manage a mass murder of toddlers. This stupid suggestion is no sillier than plastic trees, glass baubles, electric lights, heaps of parcels that are often unwanted, and lots of alcohol.
I think what I am suggesting is to walk away from ‘celebrations’ that cause more problems than pleasure, to know what we value and want to celebrate, and pick a good way for that to work. At a minimum, to stop feeling guilty if things don’t work out like a good old fashioned ‘leave it to Beaver’ way.