A story of holidays!
Yesterday, I was trying to finish a quest in 4theWords (and I did!) and I asked for prompts – here on Mastodon and here on Twitter. (Still open if something strikes your fancy; I’m having fun with writing prompt stories right now).
She’d done so well.
It was nearly dawn on the tenth of December and Xamira was sitting on her porch, watching the world and, perhaps, gloating a little bit.
Moving it earlier had been the easy part.
The pumpkin spice had been a boon, she had to admit. Xamira sipped her latte and licked the slightly-cinnamon-flavoured whipped cream off of her lip. She owed her sister in the coffee industry a favor for that one — now, even if they had never tasted a proper pumpkin pie or carved a jack-o-lantern, people started thinking Pumpkin as soon as the first chilly night came.
The crafts industry had been a big plus, too. Xamira had three blogs where she talked about autumnal crafts, autumnal cooking, and costume-making. Her Gluten, Nut, and Dairy-Free Ladyfingers (shaped like real fingers and with only natural food colorings!!) were such a hit that at least once a year her server crashed. Ditto the $10 Costumes that look like $100+ and Beyond the Sexy Everything: looking Hot on Halloween without Fishnet.
There were even posts up now on r/HotHalloween — Started to plan next year’s costumes (yes plural). What do you think about the librarian from the Mummy?
This year, Xamira hadn’t even had to start the planning-for-next-year posts; they’d just popped up organically.
That part — and Seven Spooky Wreaths You Can Make in a Weekend, and then My Husband Decorated My House for the Holiday, Can You Top It? — those were all her, no favors to a sister or cousin needed, and Xamira was pleased. The cinnamon on her tongue tasted like victory, like that PTA meeting where she’d first suggested they hold Practice Trick or Treating the week or two weeks before in the school, so kids “knew what to expect.” (which turned out to be mostly more candy). Xamira had done a lot on her own.
Of course, she did have a cousin in inflatables who had pushed the first “spooky” lawn decorations for the season — Xamira smiled across the street at the neighbors’ yard, where a dragon taller than their first floor puffed menacingly at passers-by. And once you got people to decorate, especially outside, then inertia would help everything along and those decorations would stay up longer, and longer…
Xamira had managed to take a small holiday whose influence lasted a few days at best to a season-long extravaganza of pumpkins, candy, and being someone else for a while.
She sipped her latte again as the sun crested the horizon, and sighed as a sort of pepperminty swirl touched her tongue. 70 days. She had managed 70 days.
But on the 71st day, no matter what she did, Christmas reigned.
Across the street, the neighbors’ dragon became a giant tree. Xamira wrapped her shawl around herself and headed inside before the cold really came.
70 days was quite impressive, she told herself again. Nobody else had managed that much.
Maybe next year she’d aim for a post-Labor-Day sale. Back to School with Pumpkins?
Dress Up for your First Day … as a cat!
She had time. Even redditor CostumeFreak only had two sketches and one costume prototype done yet.
For non-USians, Labor Day is generally considered the end of summer in the US.
It’s the first Monday in September & is one of our Federal Holidays.
Inflatable Christmas Tree.
Pumpkin Spice Latte – now earlier than ever!