Are We Pushing the Christmas Holidays Too Soon?

There actually was a time when I didn’t see Christmas decorations (or Holiday decorations depending what one what one prefers to call it) until the day after Thanksgiving. Time was given to enjoy the holidays as they came from Halloween, and then Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving was over we had all the time we wanted to enjoy Christmas. I remembered such a time.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it changed or what year, but it wasn’t that long ago. A few years ago at most. I remember one year when suddenly Christmas decorations were displayed after Halloween. Shocked, I didn’t know what to make of it. It was so unbelievable to me. Halloween was over and my son’s trick or treat bag was still filled, but here we were with Christmas decorations. Unbelievable.

It wasn’t like they forgot Thanksgiving was the next holiday coming up. Thanksgiving decorations were given a section of their own. A small section. A small section for the upcoming holiday. Meanwhile the holiday that was still more than two months away had an entire wall of displays. I couldn’t believe that. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous at the time. I mean I love Christmas. It’s always been my favorite holiday. I’m like a child about Christmas, but I couldn’t enjoy the sudden pushing of my favorite holiday, when Thanksgiving had not come yet.

That was a few years ago, and the Christmas holidays have been pushed earlier and earlier every year since. Now in 2011 many stores have filled their walls with Christmas displays even before Halloween some even two weeks before Halloween. One discount store was selling their Christmas items at 50% off if they were brought before Halloween. I admit it; I brought my share of items. I even found myself excited even it again the sections for Halloween and Thanksgiving paled in comparison to the large walls that hung with Christmas decorations.

I grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas year after year and I never fully understood the meaning of commercialism though every year it became clearer and clearer. I agree with the message of the legendary strip, but I always enjoyed decorations, and Christmas carols especially by the classic artists like Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. Now facing this commercialism I’ve had to ask myself a few things. Has Christmas become more and more about materialistic things? Is this what appeals to me most about Christmas?

Christmas or the holiday as many prefer to call it, means different things to different people, but I learned about the birth of Jesus as a young child and to me this is still Christmas. It’s true meaning. However I still don’t see the harm of the decorations, and the early displays anymore, though it should not push away those other holidays either especially Thanksgiving. Perhaps the displays can be made smaller and more of the others should be displayed instead.

However, can we blame the stores and retailers who are in the business of making money? There are good arguments for yes and no here. We can argue that all they care about is making money, but that is their business to make money especially during these tough economic times. I can understand this, and I understand the concern of many who are concerned about the early commercialism. For many others it’s annoying.

Whatever it is, I feel it’s not our place to judge. Just do what makes us comfortable here. Avoid the stores if it’s too much perhaps. Or ignore it. It’s your choice.

I’ve learned to accept it for what it is, and right now I love it. The display of so many beautiful decorations help put me in the Christmas spirit early, and this adds to the magic of this time of year. Yes we have time even after Thanksgiving to do the things we want. No argument there. But we celebrate Christmas only once a year, and it’s over before we know it so is it so terrible to start it early? Make the most of it. Does it mean we have to skip Halloween or Thanksgiving? Not at all. Does it mean we have to go along with it if we don’t want to? Absolutely not. Enjoy at your leisure and your time.

Only remember what the holiday season means to you. Keep that first and foremost in mind, and enjoy the displays for what they are. Part of the holiday season. That’s all. A part of it. We can still keep one holiday at a time if we prefer too and we should. Shop when you’re ready. Decorate when you want to. I enjoy the early displays, but I still wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our tree. It just feels better that way to me.

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