If you know me, you know that my two favorite days are Halloween and Christmas. If it were possible I would designate every Monday as Halloween and every Friday as Christmas. Every once in a while we could have Thanksgiving on Wednesday, as long as I didn't have to eat turkey all the time. I'm not sure how it even makes sense for me to love both days so evenly, especially since they are both so different. One celebrates everything that is dark and twisted, the other celebrates everything that is love and life. Maybe because they are so different that they speak to both aspects of myself. So when I'm able to get both things in one, I feel as if I've been uplifted to Xanadu. I fell in love with The Nightmare Before Christmas the moment the curtain went and the opening credits began. It was this magical world filled with some of the most amazing characters I've ever come across, so when it came time to pick one for this post, I was a little stuck. But I couldn't do this without taking about the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington.
The first image of Jack Skellington is when he's entering Halloween Town on his triumphant return from another terrific Halloween on Earth. The denizens of the town are singing about his extraordinary abilities to put the fear into us normal humans. But he can tell that something isn't quite right with him. Once he is out of the view of his subjects, his face falls and his true feeling come out. He just doesn't feel it anymore, there is no magic in scaring people, he's lost the love of the game and he doesn't know how to get it back. As he wonders the woods with his faithful dog, Zero, he comes upon what he thinks must be the answer.
He discovers the gateways to all the the other holidays, and through sheer luck, he falls into Christmas Town, and neither holiday will ever be the same again. He thinks he's found what he's been missing, something new and different that sends warm chills up his undead back. Instead of enjoying Christmas for what it is though, Jack decided he must make it is and "improve upon it."
It's only after things go horribly wrong for him that he begins to understand that Christmas and Halloween are more than just places or the actions of one night. They are both special and unique feelings and sensations that all of us cherish for different reasons. It's the classic coming home story where the protagonist has to go through a lot to realize they were already home. In the end Jack, much like myself, understands that it's okay to love both holidays.