I haven’t written anything for this site in a while, and I apologize. That being said, like Jason Voorhees to a group of horny camp counselors, I feel as though I have been beckoned to return by something that troubles me greatly, so get your Crispin Glover dance moves ready, because I’m back with a machete to grind.
As I’m writing this, it is October 25th. The leaves on the trees outside my window are all orange-yellow (or yellow-orange? I didn’t have the deluxe crayon box when I was a kid, so I don’t know), there’s a cool crispness in the air, horror movie articles are everywhere (even on sites that normally don’t even acknowledge the existence of the genre except as a sort of lowly “other” form of cinema made for morons and miscreants), everything is pumpkin flavored, it’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses. It is, to me, the REAL most wonderful time of the year. Joe Bob Briggs is returning to Shudder tonight after a few months off for a Halloween Hootenanny, and the world seems a bit more warm and welcoming in this time of Halloween-soaked autumnal bliss.
However, there are some Halloween Grinches out there. And that’s fine, really. Whether or not you immerse yourself in the Halloween Spirit has no effect on my enjoyment of it. I feel that way about all things I love. I don’t feel any compulsion to berate people for not liking Halloween if it’s not their thing (although maybe if they get all preachy in having a moral opposition to the holiday, in which case I’ll be glad to fight you on it). Like what you like, don’t like what you don’t like, and let others do the same without making them feel bad for it. That’s kind of the code by which I live.
Having said that, something troubles me, try as I may not to let it. You see, for the past ten years, the Hallmark Channel has run a 24/7 Christmas movie marathon in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Nothing wrong with that, of course. That’s their bag, and evidently a lot of other people’s too given that it’s been a successful programming block for a full decade now.
What troubles me is that, this year, they’re starting it tonight.
On October 25th.
Six days before Halloween.
Now, I say it “troubles” me, but I want to make it clear that I don’t truly mean that. Yes, when I first read about this, my initial response was decidedly more reactionary and akin to a quick jolt of righteous indignation that they were daring to kick-start Christmas before Halloween had even passed. So much for that ridiculous “War on Christmas” nonsense they’re always going on about, I thought; where’s all the talk of a War on Halloween?
But I came to my senses. I’m not viewing this an attack on Halloween. Oh no. This is a license. An invitation. A challenge. I got an idea. An awful idea. I got a wonderful, awful idea…
If it’s acceptable for the Hallmark Channel to officially launch their Christmas season six days before Halloween — and I’ve seen no real backlash to their decision, so I’m assuming most people think it’s acceptable — then I see no reason why, to those of us more inclined towards the spooky, Halloween season can’t last until six days after Christmas.
And this isn’t just about the Hallmark Channel. Several major retail outlets already have not just Christmas merchandise available, but even full-fledged Christmas decorations up. I’ve already heard Christmas music played in certain places I’ve gone. And again, I’m choosing not to take umbrage with any of that. I’m simply viewing the two-month Christmas celebration that’s going on around me as a sign that it’s okay for me to do the same with Halloween. Make your own holiday schedules. That’s what I’m taking from this. And I’m gonna have some fun with it, dammit.
Starting on Halloween Day (which is still October 31st, contrary to what some absurd petition tried to claim), I will be making frequent Halloween-related updates to this blog. Most will be articles on Halloween-related movies (and not just regular horror movies…this needs to be distinct from my year-round content), some about the holiday/season in general, some about Halloween-related music and TV, etc.
And this will go through the end of the year on December 31st. Six days after Christmas. A full two-month Halloween celebration that plows right through Christmas without so much as a pause (though I may cave and do an article on Christmas-related horror movies just so you know I’m a diplomatic motherfucker). Hallmark is celebrating two full months of Christmas starting six days before Halloween? Fine. More power to them. But here at Mondo Vulgare (a slightly less profitable brand, but only slightly), we’re gonna be celebrating two full months of Halloween ending six days after Christmas.
So for those of you Halloween diehards who will be feeling the post-Halloween blues in November or longing for jack-o’-lanterns and bats when everyone else is decorating with wreaths and reindeer, fear not! Or rather, fear still, as it were. For now you have a place to come where your continued celebration of Halloween will be greeted with open severed arms.
From October 31st through December 31st, Mondo Vulgare will be your source for nonstop Halloween content. Let’s go for the obvious title and call it…The Nightmare During Christmas.
Spread the word. And in the spirit of being a sanctuary for all things Halloween, I’m even planning on bringing in a few guest contributors for this event. In fact, if you have a pitch for an article you’d like to share here during this hallowed festival, please feel free to hit me up on my email or on social media. I’m not hard to find.
Thanks for the inspiration, Hallmark!
So stay tuned, kiddies. We’ve got a lot of tricks and treats coming your way…even after most people stop expecting them.