Put on that ugly sweater, hang up those stockings, and turn on those holiday tunes. Or maybe … don’t. As Halloween passes and the calendars flip to November, we are faced with the annual debate of how early is too early to start celebrating Christmas. At the Foghorn, our opinions on this are split fairly evenly, so we’ll state our cases and invite you to pick a side.
Because of Thanksgiving (along with other holidays and events such as birthdays), many staff members feel that the winter festivities should be postponed until the end of November or beginning of December. Some argue that Thanksgiving gets overshadowed by the extravagance of Christmas trees, music, and other celebrations. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and reflect before a season of giving and getting, so it’s important that people step back and are thankful for what they have.
Also, there may not be a need to celebrate a holiday for two months. We don’t start celebrating Halloween in August. Likewise, we don’t start celebrating Thanksgiving in September; we wait until at least Nov. 1 to really get into the festivities. Many people don’t want their senses to be flooded with holiday-related items in stores for eight weeks straight, nor do they want to hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” numerous times each day (even though the song is iconic).
Additionally, seeing winter decor and holiday gifts advertised for so long can create financial stress. People should be able to enjoy November and take the time to be grateful, and then think about shopping for gifts on or after Black Friday. When Santa rolls up to Target in late October, before the last of the Halloween decor has been taken down, it’s kind of disorientating.
On the other hand, if celebrating Christmas makes you happy, who’s to say you can’t enjoy it? There’s something special about putting up Christmas trees and lights, blasting the “Elf” soundtrack, and baking your favorite cookies as you’re making your way through the last of your midterms — it can even motivate you to finish the semester strong so you can go home and enjoy the season with your friends and family.
On the other hand, if celebrating Christmas makes you happy, who’s to say you can’t enjoy it?
There are so many great pastimes associated with winter, too — ice skating, cookie decorating, watching cheesy Hallmark movies, and making gingerbread houses, to name a few. Why delay so many fun activities (and ways to procrastinate studying) for longer? As long as you aren’t obnoxious about your celebrations, or forget that not everyone celebrates the holiday you celebrate, many of us at the Foghorn don’t see why it’s wrong.
Additionally, Thanksgiving can still be acknowledged and celebrated within larger holiday celebrations. Being grateful is a mindset (one which you should arguably have year-round, not just one day), whereas Christmas celebrations are primarily actions, so they can be appreciated simultaneously. Besides, someone’s joyous celebrations don’t hurt your ability to be thankful, so there’s no need to get mad at those who choose to celebrate early.
As a whole, most of us believe that in public spaces or the general consumption, sales, and excitement of the holiday season should wait until the end of November. However, as long as people take the time to be grateful, they shouldn’t be criticized as they dive into the Christmas craze.