Remember being little and impatiently sitting through dozens of Thanksgiving themed crafts in anticipation of when the red and green colored construction paper would finally be taken out in your classroom? Or how you would beg your mom to start the Christmas countdown early because you just could NOT wait for Santa to come? Apparently, it seems like many people do based on the fact that the Christmas season seems to arrive earlier and earlier every year. It’s as if the entire country has reverted to an eager child that just cannot wait for the big day to get here. Yes, much of this has to do with consumerism, but for the sake of keeping things festive, we’ll turn a blind eye and pretend it’s really all just about the joy and love that is the true meaning of Christmas.
But is this early rush into the season a good thing? What about Thanksgiving? It’s almost as if the holiday barely exists on the calendar anymore; we shift so fast from Halloween into Christmas. Grocery stores stock the shelves with Christmas specialties, candy foils go from black and orange to red and green, and holiday music appears in the blink of an idea. For the sake of this article, I will try not to be biased and to see from both the eyes of a Christmas fanatic (guilty) and a normal, liking Christmas during its appointed time, person. And to you Scrooges who just do not like Christmas, I order you to watch Elf on repeat. Here are the pros and cons to the earlier start of the Christmas Season!
Pro: Um, what’s not to like? One of the most underrated genres out there, Christmas music has far too short of an air life. It’s uplifting, positive, and all around jolly (with the exception of Christmas Shoes because that is just the most depressing song ever)! If people start playing it November 1st, it’s not because they’re aiming to drive everyone crazy. They’re just trying to get into the wonderful spirit of the holidays a bit early and to accomplish the impossible task of getting sick of All I Want For Christmas Is You – like that could even happen.
Con: Too. Soon. Christmas music playing in November means you will definitely be sick of it by December and the 25 days where it’s actually supposed to play will drive you past the point of insanity. It also makes it less special, less magical. Mariah Carey’s voice will eventually start to sound like a dying seagull who inhaled helium.
Pro: Dunkin; Donuts brought out their Peppermint Mocha lattes the first week of November this year. That means two full months of pepperminty goodness. We can all get our fair share of egg nog, sugar cookie, and peppermint flavored goodies without feeling like we only have a limited time with them. What’s not to love about any of this?
Con: Maybe you’re angry they got rid of pumpkin flavorings so fast and think Peppermint tastes like Tums. You’re over people tweeting and instagramming about how good their Christmas flavored beverages from Starbucks are. So old. So fast.
Pro: Driving around your town covered in lights and with festive Santas and mangers everywhere makes you feel like you’re in a great Hallmark channel Christmas movie. Your mood is brighter, the scenery more joyful. Christmas is the BEST ever!
Con: By the time Christmas rolls around, you’re so used to decorations that they don’t even feel festive anymore, just normal. Even the smile on that plastic Santa in front of your neighbor’s house looks like it has grown duller. You feel like you’re in the middle of one of those bad Hallmark Christmas movies.
Pro: Your home, the mall, the grocery store – all spaces are decked out to the nines and you couldn’t be happier. Everything feels cozier, brighter and a little bit magical. Christmas tree sellers bring out their bounty a few days earlier each year, and you get to enjoy the majesty of that lovely evergreen for soooo long. Just remember to water it!
Con: You don’t really want to pull out your decorations yet, but you sort of feel like you should just because so many other people are and you don’t want to feel like a Grinch. By December 10, you feel like you’re suffocating from all the glitter and greenery. By Christmas Eve, your tree is already dead and you’re afraid to light a candle to close to it in fear of it going up in flames.
The Shopping Deals
Pro: You no longer feel confined to getting the best deals in the chaotic storm that is Black Friday. Your Christmas shopping is done by Thanksgiving and you now bask in a glorious feeling of shopping success the whole season long.
Con: Black Friday used to give you a total thrill. You love waiting last minute to buy gifts on Christmas Eve and watching other last minute shoppers totally freak out. Now, you feel like you’re being lazy if you haven’t made your first purchase at least 40 days before Christmas Eve.
Movies and Specials
Pro: Specials starting so early mean there will be repeats, which means you won’t have to worry about making sure you record one you don’t want to miss. You can laugh and cry as your favorite stories old and new hit on all the feels the season brings.
Con: Anything is better than those weird dancing kids on Peanuts specials and creepy claymation dolls. Can we please bring back regular programming for at least November?
That Special Christmas Feeling
Pro: All these other things are fantastic, but it’s what they stand for that matters the most – the true feeling of Christmas and the fact that it makes us all a little kinder, more joyful, more loving and more appreciative of those around us.
Con: Even you people against an early start can’t dispute that you don’t love what Christmas does for our spirits and hearts.
Yes, we tend to be ahead of the calendar when it comes to starting the Christmas season, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoy the season, feel no shame in starting the celebration early. If you wish everyone would hold off until after Thanksgiving, that’s fair too. Just try to block out what might annoy you and instead focus on feeling the joy that it brings. To everyone, just don’t forget about Tom entirely. Thanksgiving is pretty fantastic in its own right, and we should all be excited about the pilgrims and remember what we’re thankful for. And if what you’re thankful for just happens to be Christmas and all its glory, then feel no shame in celebrating early.