The season is upon us, whether we like it or not

Yale Hollander is a dad, husband, legal professional and writer whose works have appeared in a number of local and national publications. He is currently a trustee of the St. Louis Jewish Light, however the opinions and viewpoints he presents in this blog are strictly his. Follow him on Twitter @yalehollander.

By Yale Hollander

Having crossed the dual lines of demarcation that are Halloween and the return of Standard Time, we’ve once again reached the season where people like me start to feel small and overwhelmed by those who celebrate something that I cannot philosophically embrace. 

Every year, it seems as if the celebration starts earlier and earlier, and while I don’t begrudge anyone their right to enjoy the season however they like, I do wish they would exercise a bit more sensitivity to those who do not share their mindset.

The madness is inescapable. It manifests itself not only in the malls and shopping districts, but also in the workplace and at school. Enthusiasts fill every virtual corner of social media with their celebratory photos. There is practically no escape and we are still a good two months away from the fervor abating. In the meantime, I grin and bear it while the teeming masses around me revel in their joy. I patiently wait for that sliver of time when I and those who share my beliefs get to celebrate our season.

My friends, it is not easy to be a peppermint mocha drinker in the midst of pumpkin spice latte mania.


November’s arrival marks the halfway point of pumpkin spice season. The kids were barely back in school when the coffee shops started trotting out their pumpkin spice beverages, followed shortly thereafter by the supermarkets unleashing all kinds of pumpkin spice variations on products. 

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what constitutes pumpkin spice in the first place. I’m assuming that cinnamon is involved, maybe cloves and quite possibly a Yankee Candle or two. All I know is that pumpkin spice season lasts longer than the NBA playoffs, and while that may seem like extreme hyperbole, I’ve actually done the math and it’s 100 percent true. 

Whatever happens to constitute pumpkin spice, I don’t like it. I don’t want it in my coffee, my pancakes, my cocktails, my shaving cream or my athlete’s foot spray. I do not want it in a box; I do not want it with a fox – not even Michael J. Fox, of whom I’ve also had enough lately thanks to all of that “Back to the Future” anniversary nonsense — but I’ll stick to one rant at a time.

Ordinarily, I’m a black coffee guy. I like my coffee as-is — no sweeteners, no dairy or <ugh> non-dairy dilution — just coffee. But as fall yields to the frigid wisps of winter, I do enjoy the occasional indulgence of a bit of chocolate milk and peppermint in my brew. But I try to keep the zeal dialed down to a reasonable level. I don’t feel the compulsion to wave my warm, seasonal beverage in front of your nose. But if I did, you would most certainly enjoy the smooth, minty, chocolatey aroma that issued therefrom. It’s a far less bracing sensation than inhaling “PSL” vapor, a sensation I liken to Havdalah gone haywire.

Again, I cast no judgment on those who enjoy their pumpkin spice beverages, no matter how vile and repugnant I find them (the beverages, not the people). All I ask is that they ease up a bit on the pumpkin proselytizing, especially when the temperature outside is barely lower than the temperature inside the cup.

Rant over. Pass the Sanka.