For as long as I can remember it has been the perennial argument at this time of year – are we jumping the gun on Christmas and glossing over Thanksgiving? Many people have very clear opinions on the subject and do not hesitate to voice them especially when they see Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier every year. And to add insult to injury, retailers are upping the ante on Black Friday this year with some opening their doors at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. So how does someone have dinner with the family on Thanksgiving and still go to bed early enough to get a good night sleep in order to adequately function during the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift? Beats me…
Are we moving farther and farther away from celebrating Thanksgiving? My opinion used to fall on the side of giving Thanksgiving its rightful due. After all, we have plenty of time to enjoy Christmas and New Years. No need to parade them out before Thanksgiving. I mean, how can you have breakfast with Santa before you have turkey with the Pilgrims. It just doesn’t make sense… or does it?
Christmas time is my absolute favorite part of the year – and whether you call it Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah or whatever, it is a season of warmth, love and giving. As a child, I remember feeling like it took forever for Christmas get here after Thanksgiving. There were the traditional holiday shopping trips, the holiday parties, the holiday movies and all the usual fanfare. There was so much time to revel in all of the festivities. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore. You blink an eye and it’s Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and before you know it it’s Valentine’s Day. Where does the time go?
I’ve found that people, on average, are a little nicer at Christmas time. They smile more readily. They greet you more often. And even though there is a lot of hustle and bustle the overall spirit of the season seems to prevail. I’ve often thought if we could bottle and sell Christmas spirit all year long the world might be a more peaceful place. Let’s face it – the image of Santa makes people smile. Singing “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” makes people laugh. Reliving the plight of Ebenezer Scrooge reminds people of what is truly important in life. Smiling, laughing, cherishing what is truly important – these are things we should do all year long. But we tend to only make special note of them during the holidays. What prevents us for reinforcing it throughout the year?
So if elongating the holiday season helps to consistently bring front and center the importance of the simple things in life, I’m all for it. Bring on Christmas paraphernalia in October! Don’t take the tree down until March! Play Christmas music in your car in July! Bake some Christmas cookies in September! Keep some holiday decorations up in your house all year long! Let the true spirit of the season be pervasive in your life throughout the entire year. Then we won’t have to debate if we are jumpstarting the Christmas holiday too soon – it will have never left us. I’m all for that!