Opinion: Christmas starts after Halloween

Clark Vowels, Executive Director, JCTV

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.