How early is too early?

The holiday season is a unique time of year. From person to person, the celebrations and traditions of this season are incredibly varied. However, one of the most controversial questions that arises every year revolves less about the traditions themselves and more about the time they take place. How early is too early to start preparing for Christmas? In recent years, the holiday season has been creeping earlier and earlier into the year. Before stores could even take down their Halloween displays, aisles filled up with candy canes and snowflakes. Starbucks brought back their Holiday Menu on Nov. 3 and Bath and Body Works released their Holiday Collection on Oct. 23. Outside of the corporate world, string lights began popping up and illuminating the streets with red and green while the trees still had their leaves. People immediately traded in their horror movies for Christmas classics at the beginning of November. It seems as though the world transitioned from spooky to jolly without even taking a breath.

Thanksgiving always seemed to be the checkpoint: before was overkill, and during was just obnoxious. It was the day after when you could finally bust out the tree and stockings, with the last week of November and first week of December being the golden time for holiday preparations.Some wait even later, or don’t celebrate the holiday at all. This always seemed to be the most logical way to navigate the holidays. Why would you get yourself all excited for a holiday two months in advance when there is another major holiday that’s sooner?

It’s obvious, though, that Thanksgiving doesn’t even compare to Christmas on a level of holiday cheer. You never hear people talking about their favorite Thanksgiving songs on the radio, or staying in to cozy up and watch some Thanksgiving movies. Every Thanksgiving song sounds like it was created for a fifth grade musical, and, with an exception to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, a search for Thanksgiving movies only gives you a handful of random turkey adventures or attempts at heartwarming family comedies. While the holiday’s nature of giving and gratitude is touching, outside of the meal, Thanksgiving just doesn’t bring that much to the table. The celebration is always pretty brief, if people celebrate the holiday at all. There’s an immeasurable amount of Christmas traditions. From decorating gingerbread houses to skating around at Steinberg, everyone can find something they love. Lots of cherished traditions also take root in childhood, adding the extra nostalgia factor to the whole season. Combined with the gift giving and togetherness of the holiday, the season brings people joy. If happiness comes from pulling out the Christmas sweaters before the temperatures have dipped below 70, many are willing to sweat it out.

In my house, Christmas decorations still aren’t going to see the light of day until the turkey’s gone. But when other people start celebrating, it doesn’t really bother me. After all, celebrating is a positive thing. If someone wants to pull out their nativity set in September, then all the power to them.