Decking the Halls…in November?

When is it socially acceptable to start celebrating Christmas?

As a child, the Christmas season was hands-down my favorite time of year, and I have no doubt that Christmas will remain “the most wonderful time of year” for the rest of my life. The happy and familiar music, the mouthwatering food, the sparkling decorations, the time off school, and the occasional thrilling snowfall are a cause for any kid, or person for that matter, to fall in love with Christmas time.

So, why has celebrating this joyful season become such a controversial topic? While some people today argue that Christmas should only be celebrated once Thanksgiving has come to a close or after December has begun, others are filled with Christmas cheer since the first day of October. Christmas, a holiday centered around the birth of our Savior, has become a source of trivial conflict among families and friends and should not be ruined by silly opinions.

“My family and I put up our tree specifically on Thanksgiving day. Not a day more or a day later. My mom tries to play Christmas music on Nov. 1 but I try to stop her because that’s wrong! I’m more of a Dec. 1 kinda gal,” said Journee Henry, sophomore, describing how her opinions on Christmas traditions differ from her family’s.

Although I love Christmas and have no problem with turning on the Christmas music at the end of October, I do not expect anyone else to adopt my opinions. If my friends want to wait until after Thanksgiving, I do not try to push my Christmas cheer on them, but this means I also believe they should spare me from constant attacks on my early celebrating. I have always been that one person who will never become tired of Christmas no matter when I begin celebrating. To some that may seem crazy, but is it really worth an argument?

“Nov. 1 is my official first day of celebrating but honestly I have no problem lighting my Christmas candles and playing Christmas music if I’m having a sad day. Christmas is lovely and why not celebrate whenever you want! My church sang joy to the world in June, and I loved that because we should always be thinking about Jesus’s impending second arrival and be in a state of advent!” said Emily Zell, senior.

Christmas is ultimately a season in which we should reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ and focus more on Him than any other aspect, including all forms of celebration. Whether you put up the tree the day after Halloween or wait until you are officially on Christmas break, all of the details of Christmas should be set aside for the real joy that comes from remembering the choice God made to send His Son to live among us on earth. All the music, decorations, and traditions should fall second to the real reason for the season.

Seeing the strong opinions people hold about the acceptable time frame for Christmas festivities is shocking. Even more alarming is how most people view their opinions as facts, assuming all people should follow suit. There is no harm in having an opinion, but one person’s opinion should not be allowed to ruin another’s holiday joy.

“I think it’s kinda silly because I think people should be able to start celebrating Christmas whenever they want. It doesn’t really bother me when people celebrate Christmas early because they should be able to choose for themselves,” said Madison Tucker, sophomore.

Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and Christmas all add up to one holiday season, created to remind people of their blessings, bring them closer to their loved ones, and celebrate the gifts God has given them. Some want to drag out this season as long as possible, soaking up holiday cheer for months, while others prefer to make it special by keeping the season short and sweet. Either way, the arguments really are not worth compromising any of the precious time with friends and family when the time together is often short as it is.

“Christmas should be very full of community but also a time to personally reflect, so do whatever helps you celebrate that most!” said Zell.

Christmas is a time of happiness and gaiety, not of frivolous conflict and quarrels. As Christmas quickly approaches this year, most are dropping their celebration squabbles, but hopefully next year when the season arrives yet again, people will remember the true reason for the Christmas season.