We always rush everything. We start pushing holidays way before we should and we always wind up talking Christmas before we’ve even gotten our Halloween candy. But this year is definitely different. So we thought we’d come up with a reasonable yet ‘sensitive to pandemic emotions’ schedule for the right times to be opening each of the holiday floodgates, along with some solid reasons why.

LUNAMARINA, Thinkstock

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The back to school season ship has already sailed, and frankly, this year it’s very little to do with backpacks and supplies and much more to do with masks and politics, so it’s not much of the warm, fuzzy topic it’s been in past years, so we’re relieved to be able to leave it alone.

That brings us to Halloween. And quite frankly, this ship has set sail at many places already. I think a reasonable start of the Halloween madness is September 1st. Yes, that does seem early, but the kids got robbed last year, and the early start gives them something fun to look forward to (and also change their minds about costumes 30 times).

Scary faces of Halloween pumpkin isolated on black background

Thanksgiving is less of a retail holiday. You basically just need a turkey, but Black Friday I’d a whole different ball game. It’s supposed to be the launch of the Christmas season, but we all know that’s just weeks away, and we’d normally say that’s too early. But let’s get to Christmas shopping as soon as we can this year. It’s good for local business and if we’re excited about Christmas, it’s good for our hearts, too.

Bauble Ornament in a real Christmas tree

Reasonable start date for Black Friday talk? We think November 1st, and that means the Christmas flood gate can start that week, too. And for those who celebrate Christmas, we can't get enough of it this year, and frankly it can't start early enough.

That’s what we think. Let us know if you agree or disagree.

The 25 Best Places To Live in New Jersey Must Be Awesome Around The Holidays

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

The States Where People Live The Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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