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It seems my daughter and I don't see eye to eye when it comes to celebrating the holidays...but she's wrong, not me

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Halloween versus Christmas

Some say that the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. After watching my daughter in action during the month of October, I tend to agree with this saying. She started that month (or possibly ended the previous month) by stocking up on spooky Halloween decorations. Before I knew it, she had strung fake cobwebs throughout the front yard, placed a few foam tombstones along the flower beds and added some plastic eyeballs to the lawn for good measure. Our front door was cloaked in a thin plastic ghost-themed covering.

Her indoor décor wasn't quite so extravagant — well, it wasn't until the last weekend of October when she threw herself a Halloween party. She planned the whole thing — what to eat, games, activities and of course, decorations. She led a trick-or-treat crew through the neighborhood and everything. Her parents? — we just provided adult supervision and got the heck out of the way.

None of this Halloween exuberance and ambition was in any way provoked by me or her mom. Instead, it seems she has inherited a bit of my genetic make-up when it comes to holiday zeal. We just picked different holidays. My favorite is right around the corner — Christmas.

There is no use denying that I am a full-blown Christmas junkie. For me, Halloween meant one thing — I could wake up the next day and start indulging in yuletide pleasures without feeling quite so sheepish about it. If the stores are ready to transition from ghosts and ghouls to elves and reindeer, so am I.

My music selection, normally comprised of pop and rock tunes from the '90s and '00s, takes a hiatus in mid-November and the holly and jolly songs get continual play. I dust off the DVD classics — "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation," "A Christmas Story," "Elf," "The Santa Clause" and others.

If real Christmas trees lasted longer than three or four weeks, I would probably put one up right after putting the Halloween candy back in the pantry. Yes, I could put up a fake tree earlier, but I'm a purist — none of that artificial stuff will do.

So yes, my daughter seems to get her Halloween-junkie tendencies from her Christmas-junkie dad. But what's interesting is our inability to empathize with each other's holiday of choice. When the spooky décor started to appear on our property, I rolled my eyes and questioned why it was necessary to decorate the house when Halloween was still a few weeks away. When she came home from the store with Mom carrying a large bag of candy, I wondered aloud how it would last another three weeks in our home. I couldn't wait for the calendar to flip to November so we could move on from this nonsense and get to the Christmas stuff.

Well, again the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. November arrived and as I began to talk about holiday décor and the songs and the movies and all that cool stuff, it was my young daughter rolling her eyes. "Dad," she said, "it's not even Thanksgiving yet!"

I like to think that I was patient with my youngster. It's true I didn't understand her committing a full month to a holiday that essentially embraces darkness and terror and culminates in kids going door-to-door demanding candy from strangers, but I rolled with it. I mostly kept those thoughts to myself.

But I apparently will not get the same courtesy. She has already announced that I am NOT allowed to put up any Christmas decorations or enjoy ANY holiday songs or movies until after Thanksgiving. Excuse me, but does this young lady not understand how ridiculous that sounds? How could I be expected to invite family into my home for Thanksgiving dinner and not present a festive atmosphere? How could I, in good conscience, not cue up a Christmas movie as we dig into the after-meal dessert spread? It's tradition!

The good news — I'm the parent, and as Dad I get to decree that we will indeed move forward with some holiday décor prior to the end of November. The songs and movies shall not wait until the 12th month. By golly, she will get Christmas in November and like it! Foot down, Dad has spoken.

But it seems that future battle lines have been drawn. Autumn could get an extra dose of friendly rivalry in the years ahead. War of the holidays, Dad versus daughter, Halloween versus Christmas, ghouls versus elves, jack-o-lanterns versus stockings — this could get interesting.


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