Starting to feel the holiday crush approaching

I can't be the only one who's realizing how few days there are until Halloween, and the official runaway freight train of the holiday season. I love Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas as individual celebrations, but the psychic weight of the whole two-month period can wear on me.

So I think today's topic is going to be a mishmash of comments about minimizing stress related to the holidays, finding things to be joyful about, and a little bitching just because this is a safe place to complain without anyone thinking we're blowing things out of proportion. Feel free to post what you've got. (And Canadians, you can brag about being done with Thanksgiving already.)

I'm going to start with my annual plug for the A Greater Gift fair trade catalog. You can buy fair-trade chocolate Advent calendars (the kid with the chocolate behind each window), and lots of toys and serving items made by fair-trade artisans. (And they have alpaca yarn and handmade knitting needles and crochet hooks this year, too!)

Ordering from the Greater Gift catalog makes me feel joyful because I know the gifts are handmade by people who are being fairly compensated for their work. And it just feels nice to have an item that you know was made by an actual person somewhere out in the world.

Now a question that I thought was really funny, because it was just so cranky. Let it be known that the writer knew it was cranky and not earth-shattering, but just wanted to express some frustration:

"Am I the only parent who thinks dressing up an infant for Halloween is ridiculous? I stand alone in my family. Already talk at family gatherings, by email and by phone has come around to "what will she be for Halloween?" My answer - "10 months old, in bed, not collecting candy" falls on deaf ears. Why must I spend 30$ on something she'll wear once? (yes, I admit to being a hypocrite since I spent far more than 30$ on a wedding dress I wore once, but still.). So, since I am losing this battle, any suggestions for a costume? And, aside from having no sewing skills to speak of, I can be pretty crafty with a glue gun, so suggestions that involve NOT going to a big box store would be appreciated too. thanks!"

I can gloat about the fact that my older son has chosen the costume he absolutely must! have! from the drugstore, so I'm 50% done with the costume craziness. I have no idea what the younger one will deign to wear.

Any suggestions for a baby costume that can be made with a glue gun? I'm no help, since I went all-out and sewed baby costumes when my kids were teeny. But then I'm a Halloween fan.

Anything interesting to share or complain about any of the upcoming holidays?