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Christmastime Compulsion

When is it too early to decorate?

UP photo by Morgan Collier
UP photo by Morgan Collier

With Christmas right around the corner and Thanksgiving now behind us, families are starting to put up their Christmas lights and decorations. However, some retailers — such as Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Parkdale Mall — city streets and neighborhood houses decorated for the winter holidays long before Halloween.

This poses an age-old question: when is decorating for Christmas too early?

It seems like the Christmas holiday season comes earlier each year. The song “The Christmas Can-Can,” by the a capella musical group No Straight Chaser, says it best, “Christmas season starting sooner every year. It's October, stores with plastic Christmas trees.”

As for Southeast Texans, the spirit of Christmas comes with the first cold snap that stays for longer than a day.

As a lover of Christmas, myself, I started listening to Christmas music on Nov. 1, but held out on the decorations until the week of Thanksgiving. After all, Thanksgiving dinner was held at my house this year and my family needed that Christmas spirit. However, Christmas for me started back in September, because I’m an actress in my church’s Christmas musical drama.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are important holidays, it feels like they are getting passed over with boughs of holly, sleigh bells and mistletoe hanging everywhere we look.

Christmas is celebrated by 90 percent of Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. found that more than 2 billion people in more than 160 countries consider Christmas to be the most important holiday of the year. So it seems natural for the joyful spirit to come out early as we wait in anticipation of cold weather, hot cocoa and colorful lights around town.

Whether someone decides to decorate for Christmas before Halloween or wait until the day after Thanksgiving — or start with Christmas in July — we need to give each holiday a special place with a special meaning to each person. My family treats Thanksgiving as not only a time for being thankful of all the blessings in our lives, but also as a way of giving thanks for Christmas.

Now that Turkey Day is officially over and Christmas is in 26 days, look for me in my ugly Christmas sweaters driving around looking at tacky decorations. And for that, I am truly thankful.

Story by Morgan Collier, UP contributor

Category: Opinion