Something’s been bothering me over the last few days. Actually much longer than that, but with another landmark looming, I really need to get a question answered.

When did holidays no longer become the appropriate time to celebrate? And no this question is not directed toward those of you who work on holidays. It’s for the ones who are off, yet refuse to acknowledge the holiday at hand.

Independence Day is coming up this week, Thursday, July 4 for those who have forgotten, yet most of the traditional festivities that accompany the holiday aren’t taking place until the weekend. When did this nasty trend become a way of life, and who allowed it to become this way?

Weekends occur 52 times a year. What’s so special about that? There’s only one July 4. Still, let’s hold off on the fireworks show.

The middle of the summer, a national holiday, outdoor activities galore to partake in, yet finding a fireworks show in the area has required the assistance of a private investigator in recent years. Kudos to Comanche as for the 23rd year in a row, that community is celebrating the Fourth ON the Fourth. As it should be.

As much as the Fourth of July mystery baffles me, it isn’t nearly as perplexing as another ‘holiday.’

During my time at the Bulletin, I can’t tell you how many calls we’ve received in October asking the question, “When is Halloween?” My answer has always been, and will continue to be, “October 31, the same as last year.” Then, and it never fails, the response on the other end of the line is “When is everyone trick or treating?”

Now — to sound much older than I actually am — back in my day, Halloween and trick or treat went together like peanut butter and jelly. When Oct. 31 arrived, you dressed up as your favorite ghoul, goblin or superhero and raided the candy stashes of anyone brave enough to answer the knock upon their door.

In recent years, however, it seems trick or treating is now reserved as a weekend-only activity. Again, why?

I’ve heard arguments about Halloween falling on a school night, and there’s homework to do. Last I checked, it gets dark around 6 p.m. How many hours does it take to fill a plastic pumpkin with candy? And based on my sports background, I know kids have plenty of other activities that are squeezed into an evening along with homework. Granted, I’m not a parent and I have no idea what goes on in most homes, still there seems to be ample time to trick or treat on the Oct. 31.

If the growing sentiment is to no longer recognize Halloween, scratch the holiday off the calendar. Kids can eat candy any night. It’s not as if there’s a seasonal limit on popcorn balls and caramel apples — or are those even on the Halloween menu these days?

Guys don’t get a free pass on Valentine’s Day if it falls on a Tuesday night and the roses don’t arrive to the ladies in waiting until Saturday afternoon. And never have I heard of Christmas falling on a Wednesday and Santa postponing his visit a few days.

Sure there are Christmas gatherings on weekends before and after the actual holiday due to the extended families, in-laws, grandkids and the like. But do those who celebrate on Dec. 25 find a reason no to do so if the day doesn’t begin with an ‘S?’

Kids don’t decline the chance to open gifts if Christmas falls on a Monday, why can’t they eat candy on a Tuesday evening and see the sky lit up with fireworks on a Thursday night? It’s bad enough they’re being deprived of quality entertainment like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn, now this?

At the rate things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a public outcry to shift Thanksgiving to a Saturday, with turkey being axed in favor of salad dressing-less salads.


Derrick Stuckly is the editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at