When is it time to start decking the halls?


Photograph from Unsplash

Ella Ermshler, Graphic Designer

The time to begin decking the halls with boughs of holly is quickly approaching- or is it already here? Stockings must be hung, trees need to be decorated, cookies demand to be baked and lists call to be written in preparation for Christmas, arguably one of the best days of the year. But when is the right time to kick off the festivities?

For some, the clock striking midnight on Halloween begins the Christmas spirit. Throughout all of November, ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Feliz Navidad’ are more than acceptable to play on repeat; dust is brushed off decorations as homes are merrily adorned with tinsel and lights. 

For others, the holiday cheer commences after Thanksgiving. Black Friday welcomes the season in with a shopping frenzy for marked-down gifts, and Christmas trees appear in windows faster than Santa’s sleigh can fly. This group chooses to spend more time anticipating Thanksgiving than diving into Christmas celebrations a month early.  

Both sides have their benefits; pre-turkey Christmas enthusiasts have an extra month of reaping their holiday’s joy. There is more time to watch Hallmark movies, listen to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ on repeat, shop for others’ presents and think about what you might want under the tree yourself. Plus, a head start on the celebration simply lets you enjoy the Christmas spirit for longer. 

However, if you refuse to overlook the days until Thanksgiving, you have a month to plan the delicious feast at the end of the month. You have weeks to search and experiment for the perfect pumpkin pie and mashed potato recipes and to mentally prepare yourself for the family drama. 

Personally, as an avid lover of both holidays, it’s hard for me to choose a side. Thanksgiving will hold a special place in my heart forever, but the early Christmas spirit seems to win every time. It’s impossible to resist the urges of turning on a Christmas movie with a cup of hot chocolate whenever it snows and beginning to write a Christmas list. 

I have slightly compromised though. Since I dislike overlooking Thanksgiving, the Christmas spirit is exempt from the fourth week of November. That time is reserved for Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving only. There’s no sense in ignoring the joyful holiday full of family and scrumptious food until its one day of the year. 

Therefore, although it is important to celebrate Thanksgiving to its full extent, it is more than acceptable to begin the Christmas spirit early in November. Why wait when you don’t have to?