Hide   Volume
The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Holiday Alternatives: Thank-Hallow-Mas

Written by: Communicator StaffDecember 04, 2014

Written By: Sean Godfroy

In the brief period between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, it can be difficult to meet with all your friends and family and get all the holiday shopping done. The time and money everyone spends can be a burden during a time meant to be for celebration. To reduce the strain of accommodating all your friends, consider instead combining the three into a single celebration.

In my case, I have about two dozen friends with varied work or school schedules. Several of them live out-of-state and can’t spare the time or gas to visit very often. Rather than attempt several small parties in an effort to see everyone on each holiday, we decided to find one weekend where almost everyone could show up and celebrate all three holidays at once. We called it Thank-Hallow-Mas.

In essence, it was a costume party with a chip-in dinner and a white elephant gift exchange. The costumes were completely optional, and the only real requirement was that everyone brought some kind of food, drink, or snack. And of course, we could only participate in the gift exchange if we actually brought a gift.

This idea has several benefits. Rather than buying gifts for every friend or picking which ones we liked enough to get a gift, we only had to bring one gift and someone could randomly receive it. It didn’t even have to be pricey or useful; it could have been junk for that matter. As for the food, it spread the cost of what amounted to a full banquet among two dozen people and the variety was rather impressive. Finally, while costumes seem weird any time except Halloween, it just means the party is more unique and personal than a generic get-together.

The main downside is that it takes a lot of advance planning to find an optimal date. We began planning almost two months in advance (though admittedly this was because our particular group is not quick to respond). Also, food has to be coordinated to ensure that five people don’t each bring a two-liter of Pepsi or similar mix-ups.

In short, Thank-Hollow-Mas is a nice low-budget way to meet with your friends for the holidays without committing to multiple parties. This leaves you more time and money to devote to other holiday activities or personal concerns. And of course, there is no set formula, so this idea can easily be customized to accommodate any preferences or values.