Why Do We Holiday Too Early?
November 10, 2015
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to. Happy Thanksgi–
(Cut to a shot of a sign reading "Merry Christmas")
NC (vo): Christmas!
NC: Okay, we're doing Christmas now. Because Thanksgiving is just the stepchild that nobody wants to pay attention to anymore, even though they're family!
(Cut to an image of a turkey)
NC (vo): Don't worry, Thanksgiving.
(Cut to a shot of Cinderella, with a turkey head)
NC (vo): One day your fairy god-turkey will come...
NC: ...and make you so popular that we'll start putting out...
(Cut to an image of a carving of the Mayflower with Pilgrims and Indians on it, backed by a cornucopia)
NC (vo): ...Thanksgiving decorations in September.
NC: Though, of course, we'll have to move Halloween decorations to August, because...
(Cut to a shot of a store selling Halloween decorations)
NC (vo): ...we already have September to start setting those up, because, shit...
NC: (raising his voice) ...WE ONLY HAVE UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER TO GET READY FOR THAT! (beat) Is everyone looking at their calendars upside-down?
(Cut to a shot of a white Christmas tree, with the phrase "Merry Christmas to all" next to it)
NC (vo): Why do we never celebrate the appropriate holiday in the appropriate amount of time?
NC: Now, don't get me wrong, I know it's all subjective. There's no official (makes finger quotes) "rule book" for any of this.
(Cut to a shot of a calendar set to December)
NC (vo): In fact, the dates attached to many of these holidays are usually several days, if not several weeks, off from when they were originally supposed to be celebrated.
NC: (angrily pointing to camera) But you know what I'm talking about: Christmas decorations...
(Cut to an image of various Christmas decorations on sale in a store, sharing the same space as Halloween decorations)
NC (vo): ...being put out the same time as Halloween!
(Cut to a shot of various holiday images: a turkey, a jack-o-lantern, and a Christmas tree)
NC (vo): Thanksgiving being forgotten between two other holidays!
(Cut to an image of the message "Happy Sweetest Day!")
NC (vo): More holidays being made up just so companies can sell more products!
NC: Something weird is going on, and we need to figure out if this is a good thing or a bad thing. (beat) Okay, it's a bad thing, but let me explain why.
(Cut to a montage of images associated with various holidays)
NC (vo): For years, most people celebrate the classic holidays around the same time-span: a few weeks, or usually a month preparing for the special occasion. You can tell this by how many people associate the month with a holiday: February's a time for Valentine's Day, March is a time for St. Patrick's Day, April's a time for Easter, etc. But somewhere down the line, we didn't just enjoy these holidays, we got super-obsessed with it.
NC: If holidays were people, we'd be fucking stalkers! There'd be restraining orders out on all of us!
(Cut to shots of rich people greedily holding dollar bills and, in some cases, smoking cigars and drinking martinis)
NC (vo): So is it the marketing teams that say the earlier we get this out, the more products we can sell and profit from? Well, yeah, but there's a little bit more to it than that.
(Cut to a shot of a house covered from top to bottom with Halloween decorations)
NC (vo): Every holiday is going to have a different reception, ranging from slight to extreme.
(Cut to a shot of another house, this one covered from top to bottom and all across the yard with Christmas decorations)
NC (vo): It's unlikely you'll celebrate Christmas with the same amount of excitement you'll have for Presidents Day.
(Cut to a shot of a woman dressed as a sexy Abraham Lincoln)
NC (vo): Though I'm sure there's a few out there.
NC: But the major ones I mentioned before have gone to simple, nice moments with family to extreme excess.
(Cut to a shot of a group of people dressed in grotesque costumes for Halloween)
NC (vo): We're more excited for these holidays now than we've ever been before.
(Cut to a shot of a house practically almost nonexistent behind its Christmas decorations)
NC (vo): Companies wouldn't force these holidays on us so early if we weren't buying them up so early, so the buyers and the sellers are feeding into each other.
NC: So naturally, that raises the question: "Why have we become so obsessed?"
(Cut to footage of the ending of the NC's review of Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer)
NC (vo): Okay, I know I shouldn't talk, with my slight fixation over a certain holiday...
(Cut to a brief clip of the NC doing his Christmas scream in Tamara's face, just before he starts singing "I Fucking Love Christmas")
NC: Save it.
(Cut to a shot of a strange holiday creature: a turkey with a pumpkin for a head and wearing a Santa Claus outfit)
NC (vo): But even I know that some of these holidays are getting so big that they're overlapping over totally fine ones.
(Cut to the message "Happy Thanksgiving" amid appropriate pumpkin decor)
NC (vo): Why is Thanksgiving becoming more and more overlooked, especially with more and more...
(Cut to a shot of a store, with a huge line of people all there to make their purchases)
NC (vo): ...stores staying open and thousands of people waiting in line...
(Cut to a shot of a family seated around a Thanksgiving table)
NC (vo): ...instead of eating a family meal?
(Cut to a shot of another store (which looks like a Walmart), where one person raises a DVD high in the air, out of reach of other people vainly trying to reach up and grab it)
NC (vo): You could argue it's consumerism gone mad, and in some cases, it has. Anything that can be exploited for profit will.
(Cut to a shot of a Halloween decoration: a Grim Reaper with a red skull, holding another skull on the end of a stick)
NC (vo): But we feed into it not just because we like materialism, though, again, it does play a big part...
NC: ...but because... I don't know if you've noticed... (leans in close; sotto voce) we're kind of on a big nostalgia kick.
NC (vo): Movies, merchandise, songs... we've become focused on reliving the happiest parts of our childhood.
(Cut to a shot of a group of women cosplaying as the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus)
NC (vo): It went from underground hipster talk to big, big bucks.
(Cut to a shot of a pair of men cosplaying as the Wet Bandits from Home Alone)
NC (vo): We love to relive those happy, innocent times over and over and over.
(Cut to a shot of an enraged man punching his fist through a computer screen)
NC (vo): Is this a bad thing? It can be if you glorify the wrong areas.
(Cut to a shot of a family gathered around the Christmas tree at Christmas)
NC (vo): But you could always look at it as, we're trying to figure out what made us so happy in the past and use it more in our everyday lives.
NC: Remember when Christmas and Halloween were just seen as kid stuff?
(Cut to a shot of a group of people all dressed as the cast of Gilligan's Island for Halloween)
NC (vo): Well, now adults love it. It reminds us of that special feeling we got as children, and now we can pass it on to our children.
(Cut to an image of a man lifting his little boy up to put an ornament on a Christmas tree)
NC (vo): But on top of that, by trying to reclaim those carefree times, many more people are becoming carefree in real life.
(Cut to a montage of images of Halloween costumes worn by adults)
NC (vo): Adults 50 years ago didn't really dress up for Halloween, but now, plenty of adults do, and with great technique. Now, does this mean we've gotten so uptight that we're craving our carefree ways, or have our carefree ways made us less uptight?
(Cut to a shot of a woman holding out a Christmas ornament to a baby in a reindeer costume)
NC (vo): It's probably something everyone can answer a little differently, but it does explain why we have such a hard-on for the holidays that gave us the most memorable childhood memories.
NC: The downside is, we are connecting it too much to the holidays and not to our normal state of being.
(Cut to a shot of a family having a Christmas dinner around a table)
NC (vo): We want Halloween and Christmas to come early because we like what we do and who we are around those times. So it just makes sense to celebrate earlier and earlier.
NC: I guess it's not bad, but how about this idea: try doing the things you want to do and being the person you want to be any day.
(Cut to a shot of a group of people working for the Los Angeles Mission)
NC (vo): You don't need a date to be nice people. Go donate to charity or find a friend in need.
(Cut to a montage of people dressed in awesome cosplays)
NC (vo): You don't need an excuse to make awesome costumes or projects. Hell, there's a ton of conventions every year dedicated to people who celebrate their personal likes, and they do so by building incredible things. There's people that go out on the streets, make videos, do all sorts of things with incredible creations because... they just like it! Why wait for a holiday? They can do this shit right now!
(Cut to an image of people running across a beach)
NC (vo): You don't need a certain time to come earlier to feel better; just do the same thing every other day.
(Cut to a montage of holiday imagery and the people who celebrate them)
NC (vo): The holidays are supposed to be reminders of what's wonderful in the world. Christmas is a reminder of how important it is to care, Valentine's Day reminds us of how important it is to love, Thanksgiving reminds us of how important it is to be thankful, and Halloween reminds us of how important it is to stir things up a bit. We go overboard with celebrating them because we want to show how much we treasure these values, which is fine, but we're not bound to do them only during the designated shopping days. Hell, if I'm in a down mood, I'll sometimes put on a Christmas CD, even if it's long after Christmas. I do it because those songs are about peace and harmony, and those are worth enjoying, even after the holiday is over. They're values that still work even if it's not the 25th of December.
NC: So, are we gonna keep celebrating holidays at strange times? Probably, but it's not about when it starts, it's how long you keep it going.
(Cut to an image of group of people celebrating Day of the Dead in costume)
NC (vo): Hell, even more holidays are getting recognitions, celebrating even newer values, but as always, the idea is not to help create a holiday, but rather a better life...
(Cut to an image of a group of people working together in a kitchen)
NC (vo): ...doing things that you should be trying to do every day.
(Cut to a shot of a man slumped over the end of a bench while holding a Guinness bottle)
NC (vo): Well, except maybe St. Patrick's Day. You know, be an alcoholic.
(Cut to a shot of a building with "Merry Christmas" displayed on it in big neon-lit letters)
NC (vo): But you get the idea: let the holidays be a reminder to do great things, not permission.
(Cut to a shot of a woman cosplaying as a Zubat)
NC (vo): Instead of extending their message another month, why not practice it the whole year?
(Cut to two shots of families, the second being in silhouette)
NC (vo): Who knows? The more you praise how much you value the great things in life, the more you might actually start to value it all the time.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic; I remember it so you don't have to. (gets up from his chair and leaves)