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Opinion: Christmas starts after Halloween

Don’t let grinches ruin your holidays. Christmas season starts after Halloween.

The “grinches” of the world will try to tell you otherwise, but Christmas season begins right after Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t catch me stringing Christmas lights the second November hits, but I think there is something to be said for an easing in of Christmas culture.

As winter approaches and days shorten, life in the northwest can quickly become a dreary blur. According to American Family Physician, up to 20% of Americans experience some level of seasonal depression. Luckily, many cultures celebrate important winter holidays that help bring life to an otherwise cold and depressing season. In the US this takes the form of Christmas.

Christmas season has taken on a larger meaning than the original religious celebration, garnering distinctive cookies, food, decorations and of course music. This Christmas spirit brings light to the dark half of the year, so why limit the dates when we can celebrate?

Many will say that Christmas starts as soon as it’s December, fall changes to winter gradually. Days slowly become colder, darker, and shorter over November and December. If winter has a gradual arrival, shouldn’t Christmas spirit gradually arrive too?

Hearing Christmas music every once in a while during November is a pleasant surprise. However, the explosion of incessant holiday music following thanksgiving is almost sickening; it’s artificial and demeans the value of Christmas. Rather, a slow buildup helps accentuate the anticipation of Christmas.

A common rebuttal to starting Christmas earlier is that it devalues Thanksgiving’s meaningfulness. On the other hand, Thanksgiving and Christmas have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Both holidays promote generosity, thankfulness, and appreciation of family. Thanksgiving is kind of like the appetizer to Christmas. It gives you a chance to celebrate without waiting all the way until December 25th.

While starting Christmas early may be unpopular among Americans, there is certainly something to be said for giving it a try. A natural slow buildup is conducive to a pleasant and cozy holiday season. Plus, maybe this year you’ll have enough time to buy presents before Christmas Eve.

Opinion: Christmas Season Starts December 1

Christmas Before December 1st? No Way.

On one of my drives to school in mid- November, I passed several houses that had stripped their Halloween decorations, skipped any Thanksgiving fun, and had strung up green and red flickering lights. This signified the beginning of the premature Christmas season.

I would never identify myself as a “Grinch”, but Christmas doesn’t begin until December 1st. The “norm” in American culture is to start decorating before December 1st: 68 percent of Americans do. Luckily only two percent decorate right after Halloween. But any and all of those who fall in the 68 percent are too early and here is why.

Let’s start with the fact that Thanksgiving is not appreciated enough. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to focus on being extra grateful. With the Christmas period starting November 1st, there is no time to enjoy the changing of the leaves, the cool yet bright mornings, and the earlying sunset that illustrate the Thanksgiving time of year.

81 percent of Americans said that Thanksgiving is one of their favorite holidays. We should let people enjoy their holiday and then give a “breathing period” afterwards. December 1st typically isn’t even much later than Thanksgiving. There is no need to rush into Christmas.

The second reason, and the most important, is that Christmas, an absolutely wonderful holiday and time of year, should be cherished and savored more fully. It should not be promoted early November and then forgotten about a couple days after the 25th.

From yet another survey, 73 percent of American adults said they got “annoyed by the early holiday shopping season.”. The over-advertising leads to wanting Christmas over as soon as it happens and doesn’t lend to a full enjoyment of the holiday.

I have a suggestion for all of those who want just a little more Christmas: instead of skipping multiple holidays and running straight to Christmas, make Christmas last longer after the 25th. Begin later, end later. New Years Eve and Day are first cousins of Christmas, unlike Thanksgiving that is a cousin 6 times removed. Keep the trees and the green and red lights going into the first week of January.

Extend Christmas so we you can savor it, without getting tired of all the ornaments and Santa Claus statues because they were up November 1st. Christmas is in December and that’s when we should start celebrating.

 

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