Signs of the Christmas season are popping up all around. People are pulling out their Christmas music, digging holiday sweaters out of their closets, putting up twinkle lights and decorating gingerbread cookies. This time of year is filled with many unique practices that are enjoyed for only a brief period of time before being stowed away for next year – or are they?
What was once a very seasonal holiday seems to be appearing earlier and earlier every year. Perhaps stress at work or school is causing people to desire an early start to the holiday season, but, as a result, some Christmas decorations are now starting to go up as early as October.
I, personally, am not a “leave the Christmas lights up year-round” kind of person. I don’t believe in singing about Santa Clause in April or drinking out of reindeer mugs in July. In my house, the Christmas tree goes up the week after Thanksgiving and comes down on Dec. 26.
To me, Christmas should be celebrated and enjoyed during the designated Christmas season. A huge part of this conviction is due to the way Thanksgiving is underplayed.
Perhaps I’m biased because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but over-celebrating Christmas is an unfair practice. There is so much to enjoy about the fall-themed feel of Thanksgiving. Fewer people decorate with fall leaves, pumpkins and cornucopias because their houses are already overrun with candy canes and mini snowmen. Perhaps decor isn’t the best argument, but I believe that to give Thanksgiving the attention it deserves, the premature celebration of Christmas should remain limited.
Singing Christmas songs year-round almost kills the magic of the holiday season. Part of what makes holidays so great is that they are different than any other time. In order for Christmas to remain special, it can’t seep into the rest of the “ordinary” days of the year.
If you have been listening to Christmas music all year, when the actual season comes around, there won’t be anything particularly exciting about turning on your radio and discovering a Christmas station.
Stores used to be helpful in making Christmas items available for a limited time, but even those items are now being stocked on the shelves earlier, a commercial tactic used to expand holiday sales revenue and to milk the season for all it’s worth.
However, it’s important that the holidays maintain a special feeling. I think it does something for each of us mentally that is to our benefit.
Giving ourselves that special holiday feeling enables us to find relief and rejuvenation during our break from classes and work. It also has some special quality about it that makes us feel drawn towards our families.
There is some kind of magic that changes and softens our mentality, some feeling of excitement and relief that comes as a result of the whole holiday atmosphere. That’s why we get so excited when a special gingerbread-flavored drink comes out at Sonic, even if we don’t like gingerbread. It’s because we know that we’ve arrived in a special time and that it’s OK to take a break and eat a few more cookies, because life still holds its reasons to celebrate and to be joyful about our blessings.
It is because of this that the holidays are worth celebrating and appreciating to their full capacity.
Now that Thanksgiving is over and December has begun, you are free to be festive.