My Voice: Do We Celebrate Christmas Too Early

   If you venture out shopping in late October or early November, I dare you to find one supermarket without Christmas items on sale. Get into the holiday spirit early they often tell you in commercials.

   My point is that despite the importance of holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas always seems to overshadow any and every other holiday within the last three months of a year.

   Once Halloween ends and the last Reese’s cup has been devoured, the Black Friday ads and Christmas music come pouring into stores and homes all across America. Even the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special joked about this phenomenon, and that came out in 1973!

   So as you can see, this early celebration of Christmas has been occurring for years and doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon and personally, I don’t get it.

   Yes, some may consider me to be a scrooge, but I’ve never understood why people hang lights and put up a tree on Nov. 1. I always preferred to gradually ease into the holiday season.

   While I enjoy Christmas just as much as any Who down in Whoville, I also enjoy activities like carving a one-toothed smile on a pumpkin in October or the delightful time of reflection on Thanksgiving in November.

   After all, if you celebrate something too often, it loses a bit of its luster, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, everyone always skips Thanksgiving and jumps straight to Christmas.

   From the early decorations to the early advertising, all leading up to the MONSTER that is Black Friday, it seems like the Christmas craze has taken over both November and December.

   But is this something worth complaining about, or am I just a grinch who lost his Christmas spirit? Well to answer the title question, we must consider both sides of the argument.

   On one hand, experiencing yuletide joy early can be very fun. There’s a reason why so many people break out the Christmas albums every year. For one, there’s a lot to celebrate.

   With Christmas taking on so many different meanings over the last hundred years, it’s difficult to cram all that cookie baking, church servicing, movie marathoning, gift giving, in-law tolerating fun into 25 measly days.

   My family and I always deck the halls the day after Thanksgiving. However, that hasn’t prevented my mother from listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies every night since the first of November. Yes, the holiday spirit truly is infectious, is it not?

   But perhaps it’s too infectious. As I stated above, decking the halls prematurely is nothing new. However, people wanting to decorate and watch Christmas movies in November has only increased the commercialism of the precious holiday.

   Again, the Charlie Brown Christmas special pointed out how commercial Christmas had become. Again, that observation was made in 1965.

   In many ways, the itch to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving has opened the floodgates for companies to cash in on the holiday hype. With all the pre-Christmas deals and ads shoved in your face, it’s hard to take time to appreciate the reason for the season.

   The biggest offense by far are those sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. Will people stop at nothing? And then, there’s Black Friday. The holiday dedicated to butchering the gratitude experienced on Thanksgiving with nothing but yuletide greed.  

   Rather than spending time at home preparing for the Christmas season, (or waiting for Cyber Monday) the day after Thanksgiving consists of people trampling over each other, getting into fights and going broke just to get that one sweater for that one relative who will wear it once, and ultimately outgrow it in ten month’s time.

   Now before you send me loads of yuletide hate mail threatening to stab me with a candy cane, let me clarify one thing: I love Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. A time where families reunite, memories are made, and everyone is generally more grace giving.

   But the question remains, should we hold off on the Christmas hype? That friends, is ultimately up to you. We live in a nation where we are free to decide what we celebrate, and how we celebrate it, and in that truth lies the beautiful balance of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

   Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon and be grateful for all of your blessings, and one of those blessings we all can be thankful for is the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, you possess the freedom to celebrate these holidays when and how you desire. And friends, that truly is something to be thankful for.

Samuel Claude

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