When’s the appropriate time to start celebrating the holidays? Is after Halloween too early? Take a look at what staffers Elaine Chamberlain and Katie Lamar have to say as they take on the issue.
Too Early – Elaine Chamberlain
On an unseasonably warm afternoon in late October, I pulled into the Village to start my shift at TCBY. I parked, got out of my car and a glimmer of tinsel caught my eye. I turned around and, to my horror, was met with the sight of the Village Flower Company completely decked out in Christmas lights and lurid red-and-silver “trees.”
My first thought was, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IT’S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN YET. CHRISTMAS IS TWO MONTHS AWAY.
But then I realized, isn’t this to be expected? The excessively commercialized holiday season seems to start earlier every year. I’ll be at Hen House looking for discounted candy corn a couple days after Halloween, and hear Paul McCartney telling me how he’s simply having a wonderful Christmastime, even though in my book Christmastime isn’t for another month.
Believe me, this doesn’t mean I’m lacking in Christmas spirit. Once in a while in the middle of July, “O Come All Ye Faithful” will get stuck in my head for no apparent reason and I think there’s no way I can wait until December. Christmas is my favorite holiday and always has been. I love giving (and getting) presents and spending time with my family, and eating way more than is good for me. And there’s also just this twinge I get in my stomach whenever I think about Christmas that isn’t quite there with any other holiday. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to hear Jingle Bell Rock playing every time I go out after mid-October.
Starting the Christmas season in the actual month of December is what makes it special to me. There’s 11 months of buildup, and then I get to experience the most wonderful time of the year. And honestly, that’s the point. Christmas only comes once a year. We all heard that when we were kids, but really, who wants to spoil it by putting up lights in October?
Thanksgiving is a great holiday in its own right, and getting into the Christmas season so soon passes it over like it’s not even there. Have you ever seen Thanksgiving decorations or heard a Thanksgiving song? I think not. And that’s because everyone is so excited about having the best lights display and getting the best gifts and drinking peppermint mochas out of their oh-so-offensive red Starbucks holiday cups.
Which brings me to my next point: the commercialization of Christmas. The material things, like Black Friday shopping or taking a cute selfie with your Santa hat, have started to overpower the important things. No, scratch that, eggnog lattes have already overpowered the whole point of a holiday that, at the core, is supposed to be about love. If you’re more orthodox like me, you believe in celebrating the birth of Jesus. And sorry, but I don’t think He really cares how many likes you got on your holiday-themed Instagram post.
The holiday season is a special time of year that is supposed to be geared towards your family and your faith, and being kind and loving your neighbor. So let’s not be lured in by 20 percent off all holiday purchases at Target, and remember the real things that matter. And waiting until December to crank your favorite Christmas music will only make it that much more special.
Not Early Enough – Katie Lamar
It first started on a brisk November morning while I was driving my friends home from a birthday breakfast in the West Bottoms. As I plugged my phone into my aux cord, I couldn’t help but think how perfect Christmas music would be– especially the Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
As soon as I pressed play, they all let out a groan of pure despair.
“Are you serious? It’s not even December yet,” all my friends exclaimed.
After forcing me to change the song, I started to think:
When did it become a bad thing to celebrate the holiday season early?
The holiday season, which consists of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve, has always had a special place in my heart. I don’t know if it’s the scent of my grandma’s sugar cookies baking or the present-giving that amps me up, but around this time of year, I turn into a new person. You can find me buying presents for my dog that I usually hate, smiling at grouchy strangers, or at your house delivering my homemade cookie plate. To put it simply: I love everything cliche about the holidays.
Now I’m not saying that others don’t spread the holiday cheer as well – I am just saying there’s a lack of it. Many people get upset when the department stores roll in their Christmas decorations halfway through November, but to me it’s just another opportunity to load up on holiday joy. I think people should stop hating on over-promoted holidays and embrace it.
The holidays mean more than tinsel-lined Christmas trees and spending your hard-earned babysitting money on presents people sometimes may not even appreciate. The holiday season is about surrounding yourself with your loved ones and those who bring you joy. This is a time for people to count their blessings and be thankful for everything in their life. There is no time to hate on those who play holiday movies or songs early, if you are consumed with the love this season brings.