Bitter Rivalry of the Week: Halloween vs. Christmas

As soon as August ends, summer is unofficially over and what I call the holiday quadrant of the year begins.  Let’s be honest, no one gets out music and decorations for Flag Day.  Or puts up lights in their house for and starts getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day.  Everybody is pretty patient for holidays the other 9 months out of the year, but when it comes to the two major holidays in the holiday quadrant of the year, people jump the gun like it isn’t any of your business.

Many people think that the king of holidays is Christmas and for many years, I didn’t think it was even a contest. But in recent years, I have heard that the amount of money spent on Halloween is now more.  It was some article from some website that claimed they heard it from some person somewhere.  And clearly whenever someone types a thing on the internet, it must be true.

Some people clearly get a little excited about things, and for most people it is about one of these two holidays.  While they both have their fanatics, and both of them have people that get way overly excited about their decorating and other preparations for it, the holidays couldn’t be more different.

Are you a free candy person?

Are you a free candy person?

Halloween is about dressing up in costumes, going to scary people’s homes and asking for free candy.  It’s about scaring people, carving pumpkins, haunted houses, headless horseman, darkness and looking forward to a holiday that isn’t even a day you get off from work or school.

...or a free present person?

…or a free present person?

Christmas is about the way overdone bright lights, the elaborate dinners, the buying of way too expensive presents, snow days, cheesy holiday movies, the Christmas dinners, the crowded airports, the family disasters, the Black Friday fights, and tradition. Some people celebrate it as the birth of Christ, and make it a more holy holiday.

So who is the winner of the epic holiday smack off? Are you a scary dress up and get free candy Halloween person?  Or a cozy by the fire, shopping for a perfect gift, bright holiday light contest Christmas person?

Lemme know in the comments and you could decide who wins this bitter rivalry.

ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH

Bitter Holiday Rivalry Ben

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107 thoughts on “Bitter Rivalry of the Week: Halloween vs. Christmas

  1. Christmas is worse. The Hobby stores start putting up Christmas hobby stuff at the same time they do Halloween and those heavily cinnamon scented pinecones are EVIL!
    Although recently, my children have been campaigning for more Halloween decorations in the yard, which means more work for me, which means I might become grinchy about Halloween as well.

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    • Being bitter about holidays is what I’m all about. I like the fact that I get the day off, but the fact that Halloween and Christmas are seasons that don’t give days off, that is what makes me bitter. Also I think we need more holidays and longer weekends.

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  2. Stores bet we can’t decide on favorite holidays either, so they give us those great mash-ups on the shelves–Halloween candy at the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise before Halloween, Valentine’s Day candy and cards pre-News Years Day. Even the Easter candy should be out soon!

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  3. For me, Christmas undoubtedly wins the battle as it has been my favourite festival from my childhood. Overdecorated houses, extra sweet people, weather that’s bitting cold and gifts under the tree, what’s not to love?

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  4. Great idea here, Ben! I grew up trick-or-treating, every year looking forward to the next. I have also celebrated the birth of Christ – every year. Except for an occasional couple of pounds now and then, none of it harmed me. Values and the world indeed changed a lot since I was a kid. However, a non-conformist at heart, I practice making the holidays about whatever one is actually celebrating. I like to research, poll and talk with people about what’s important to them. Life today is frightening enough, so I don’t do scary for Halloween, but I thoroughly enjoy clever costumes, autumn colors, festivals and tasty foods in moderation. I don’t shop for gifts at Christmas time, but make a big deal out of individual birthdays all year – making it about the individuals. Every Christmas season I seek one family in need to gift with something that matters to them. This all makes others happy and me as well. Win-win.

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    • I’m glad to see you did your research. Not everyone is thoughtful about this decision. Sounds like you are on both sides of the equation. I think lights are my favorite thing of all, and since Christmas does those better they win. But not by much.

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  5. I love all fiestas! The more the merrier. Halloween, Day of the Dead, St Andrew’s Night, Christmas, Boxing Day, Hogmanay, New Year, Burns Supper. Bring ’em on. My mixed heritage means I can celebrate almost everything including Ramadan – which was crazy fun when we lived in Egypt.

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  6. Oh its got to be The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love the theatrics of Halloween. Being able to dress-up as someone or something else is a hoot. But Christmas is a close second. Thanksgiving on the other hand, is not altogether a…turkey. So, I guess I’ll close this out this holiday quadrant of the year with New Years Eve wishes.

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  7. Halloween hands down! I love dressing up. I don’t care about the candy, just dressing up and trying to see who gets my obscure costume choices, which I didn’t actually think were that obscure.

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    • To me the dressing up is a double edged sword. I liked the initial reaction people would give me, but the hanging around to talk about it, just observe and go. And I always ended up taking them off because it would get hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. But I’m down with the obscure ones. One time I dressed up as the Nutty Professor and no one knew who the heck I was.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I went as Starbuck from Battlestar Galatica one year. I figured people wouldn’t get it, so I carried around a Starbucks coffee with Starbuck written on it. Everyone was super confused. Another year I went as She-Ra and everyone thought I was a female Thor.

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        • Oh my gosh, She-Ra! The good old 80’s with He-Man and She-Ra. I’m not sure I would have recognized it, but when you told me She-Ra I sure would have had a light bulb over my head when you told me. That is awesome. One time this guy in my office came as Optimus Prime and it was a full on, decked out with lights and everything. It was awesome. And he built the whole thing himself in a few hours. Of course, he was an engineer. If you have pics of your costumes you should put them on your blog!

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  8. Wow – sad so many of you view them so harshly? I am into them all – cant help myself. Don’t go overboard on the decorations, but I do on sharing with others stuffs. The best part of any of the holidays is the sharing – you should see some of the costume parties I have been too/in and – or one of our “all are welcome” Christmas parties. It’s never just family but always pot luck (no pressure on this either – you want to pick up a bag of store bought cookies – fine, and will be appreciated! It is just so everyone feels included in the affair.). So for our family it has always been about the “4-F’s” – Food, Family, Friends, Fun (oh and 1 “B” =beer – LOL) (PS – LOVE YOUR HEADLESS HORSEMAN PIC!! Don’t know where you got it but – AWESOME!!! – may have to see if I can do it in needlepoint?? hmmm LOL)

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    • I thought so too, until I started blogging years ago and a lot of people associate bad memories with holidays so I try not to make too much of it. I have good memories, but not everyone does, so that is their preference. And it shouldn’t cloud yours if other people do.
      As for many people, I do love the lights whether they be for Halloween or Christmas, though I don’t like putting them up.
      And the headless horseman pic, I just found it on Google pictures a while ago and really liked it too. That would be a pretty awesome needlepoint if you could pull it off.

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  9. There’s one thing about Christmas I believe you are mistaken about. The presents. They are not free in any sense of the word. Once someone gives you a present you are beset by obligations: to be grateful even if you can’t stand the gift, to show that gratitude by lavishing them with spurious thanks, to give them a gift in return; and it has to be of equal or greater value. If you still crave ‘free’ gifts and are a masochist, this could be one of the great perks about the Christmas holidays. It’s your choice after all.

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  10. I’m a deacon in the Episcopal church, so I love the traditions and (the true) meaning of Christmas. However, I work in retail which really destroys holiday spirit, and Halloween is definitely less of a pain (especially since we live in the country behind a bunch of trees so we don’t have to decorate.) Since I really enjoy picking out gifts for Christmas and I’m now working midnights (a lot fewer people), tradition wins. But I vote for Easter. The bunnies are really cute. 🙂

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    • I didn’t know that cats could be deacons in the Episcopal Church! Anyways, I agree that trying to balance the religious with the commercial can make things confusing and hopefully bitter. And the Halloween is easier to deal with and maybe Thanksgiving might be a better holiday because you get the day to eat and be lazy.

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      • You obviously haven’t heard how truly liberal the Episcopal church is. I could definitely go with Thanksgiving (although it would be better if the Lions didn’t play that day)

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        • How very progressive of them. The best part about the Lions playing that day is that you can watch something else and you won’t miss any football at all. The Seahawks were almost nice enough to let them win a couple of weeks ago.

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  11. I personally prefer Christmas. As a kid, I usually got candy in my stocking since it fits so conveniently. So not only were there presents involved, but there was also free candy, and I didn’t have to wear a dorky costume to get it. That’s a win-win for me!

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  12. I dig Christmas because I like shopping for people, but adult Halloween is awesome in a different way. If I had to pick…so tough. Christmas – but I’m also an agnostic so take that as you will…

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      • Sorry, there is absolutely no bitterness for Christmas except that I can’t go to the mall between November 1st and January 2nd due to the Christmas shopping hordes. I fear trampling and dying of starvation while standing in long checkout lines.

        My only bitterness for Halloween is that I have yet to win a prize for best costume. I though my bubble wrap creation two years ago was a great idea, but people didn’t seem to get it. I am a creative savant without an audience.

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        • Yeah the malls are insanity. I went last year to go to a street parade and ended up waiting like two hours just to get a parking spot there and ended up not even seeing the parade. The commercial part can get to you sometimes.
          And yeah, the creative people don’t always have the right audience and it stinks because all that work for little payback huh?

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  13. I’m not much use here because I’m tied. I like the free candy and the overpriced gifts. But, what I don’t like the weight I gain from both holidays or the credit card bills I get in the mail. I think we should petition congress to have a national, “You don’t have to pay your bills,” month.

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  14. I love BOTH!!! Sorry to be so perky on your bitter blog, but I am truly in love with Halloween this year. It is 11 days after my 25th wedding anniversary, and I have been strong-armed into having a party which I have dubbed the — wait for it — Halloweddinganniversaweenary Party. It is the 24th, if you are inclined to crash. Nov. 1 will begin my Christmas obsession. For personal reasons I am boycotting Thanksgiving (a previous favorite simply because there was NO hype). I would write a bitter blog post about it, but my mother reads my blog. I’m a little bitter about that, just to finish on a sour note. Rock on, great post.

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    • You may have both. And I’m glad you brought it in at the end with the bitterness both for Thanksgiving and the fact that you can’t write a bitter post about it, because your mother reads your blog. Thankfully she will never read mine, so rant away!

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  15. If you truly love Halloween as I do and look forward to it with the Christmas/New Years countdown, its not about the free candy, its about mystery and folklore of an unseen presence…and the fact that it supersedes Christmas in the celebrating department is much overlooked. Sorry for the rant, I just really love Halloween. I make the trek to Salem MA every year with my daughter. As with Christmas, it is commercialized, but we find the roots… maybe I am just bitter because Santa always stiffed me on the presents growing up…

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    • Wow, you go to Salem? That must be pretty awesome. And don’t ever feel bad for ranting on here. That is what this site is all about. Be bitter about Christmas or Halloween or bitter that one gets more props than another. Or that you got stiffed at Christmas. We all did.

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  16. I’m a musician, Ben, so for me the battle is between cute kids (and embarrased adults) singing Oh pumpkin bells and I’m dreaming of the great pumpking,
    vs Silent night “Round John Virgin” or “Oh Atomic bomb.”
    As for us personally, as soon as the last of the quarter’s concerts are over, (the Bach Xmas Oratorio is pretty cool)
    we put up a late Christmas tree while singing the Messiah and Rocking around the Christmas tree, and barking Jingle Bells.
    And then sleep for a week.
    Put me down for Xmas, please.

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  17. Christmas wins because it has the most music, and most colors, and most cookies, and most reindeer, and most stockings, and most trees, and most elves. Oh, and presents—Halloween is missing the presents part. So, it’s Christmas for the WIN.

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  18. Christmas hands down! Even though the craziness of relatives and overpriced gifts may be the case, I think the overall season represents love. And I know Christ wasn’t even born in December (too bad since I was!), as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter if you celebrate an occasion on the exact day or not. What’s important is that you celebrate it.

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  19. Well, Christmas, of course. I get the day off work…and who really wants to go to strangers doors in the cold with your sniveling kids in those cheap costumes demanding candy when you can just stay at home all day, and go to your moms to eat. Although, I have been known to go door to door with my plate and ask strange people if they have any leftovers on Christmas.

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    • Yep. The holiday corridor is just one of those confusing times. First I should be in scare and candy mode, then I should be in happy and bright mode. What kind of person should I be? I’m so confused.

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  20. Personally, I like Thanksgiving the best. There’s just something about eating too much food and laying on the couch that really appeals to me.

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