Happy (Not Hellish) Sixth

Today is the sixth anniversary of Hellish Holidays. This begins our sixth season of accepting the reality that is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day and more. We wish you holidays that are not the least bit hellish - but encourage you to embrace your memories of those that were.

Halloween's Black Friday Equivalent

The day after Thanksgiving - or more accurately, later that night - everyone piles into the hybrid SUV with the now-defunct election bumper sticker and heads to the mall for the Black Friday sales. For many people, post-holiday shopping is more important than the holiday itself. Turkey? Feh, not interested. They're too busy scrolling through the Black Friday ads and making a plan of attack for 5:00 a.m.

I am not one of these people. While I love a bargain, I do not love a bargain more than I hate being with other people. Seriously, I run a website called "Hellish Holidays" - do I sound like someone with unconditional love for her fellow man? Of course not. I am someone who prefers shopping online and going to the grocery store mid-morning. I live for the reverse commute (not that such a thing exists any more in Los Angeles) and sitting next to an empty seat on an airplane (something else that doesn't exist any more).

But there is one post-holiday sale I cannot resist, and it is the November 1 candy extravaganza. On Halloween, while my son parcels out Fun Size whatever-I-had-a-coupon-fors, I scan the ad circulars of the local chain drugstores and supermarkets. I prioritize and plan. And the morning of November 1, I set my alarm and go. If I found a line outside of CVS, I would wait in it. Because through that automatic door is candy. And not just any candy - half-price candy! The most delicious kind of candy you can buy!

There aren't many kinds of candy I don't like. Over the years I have even learned to love the Almond Joy bar, and I'm not crazy about coconut or almonds. It could be because the song from my youth ("Almond Joy's got nuts - Mounds don't") still rings in my head the way Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson never could.

Naturally I have my favorites - black licorice All-Sorts (no one ever gives that), Butterfingers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But really, I'll eat anything that's 100 calories a bite. I feel about candy the way Jerry Seinfeld did when he was a kid. Apparently he got over it. But I didn't.