I need you to think back to Oct. 25…
You’re prowling the aisles of your local Value Village or Party City searching for that perfect Halloween costume. You near the end of the witch hats and upon turning the corner into the next aisle, you expect to be greeted by some creepy masks, pirate hats or maybe the occasional Jack-o-lantern. But instead, you find yourself staring at a marshmallow world of green and red. That’s right, Christmas: Christmas decorations ready to go before hordes of costumed children are pounding on your door demanding candy; Christmas before you’ve carved your pumpkins; Christmas before you’ve even decorated your front porch with cobwebs.
For some people, this sight would send shivers of excitement and anticipation down their spine. But for others, these would be shivers of dread or even utter confusion. This is where the internal debate for most people begins. When is it too early to start celebrating Christmas?
Christmas is regarded by many as a magical time of holly, jolly warmth meant to be shared with friends and family. Everything is lit up in hues of dazzling gold and silver. The smell of peppermint or cocoa seems to be everywhere. Yet some people are still put off by the idea that there are already snowflakes hanging from every lamppost and store ceiling before any have even fallen outside.
When I traveled around campus asking Laurier students their opinions on the “official start date” of the Christmas season, I was met with an array of perspectives. One student said, “I like celebrating Christmas as early as possible because to me it means spreading love. Whether you are volunteering, donating to charities or simply giving… it gives you an overwhelming feeling of joy. I love that feeling.”
Christmas to many was described as a time of love and joy: A time where you could relax and reconnect with those who are important to you. Why wouldn’t one want to experience that as soon as possible?
Christmas offers this nostalgic and comforting feeling of warmth and security that no other holiday can quite match. The world is transformed during the Christmas season. Suddenly, goodwill and kindness to all are a little less hard to come by. I would think that everyone would want that to see that as soon as possible.
However, there were the few students who strongly disagreed with these notions. After I watched them recoil at Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you,” which was playing in Stedman Community Bookstore, I made sure to collect their opinion.
“The Christmas season should start December 1. Christmas is amazing in small doses and one month of it is enough. There are only so many good Christmas songs and they will get infuriatingly annoying if they follow you wherever you go for two months straight. I resist the urge to be Christmassy until it’s actually Christmas so the novelty of Christmas spirit isn’t wasted on November,” said one student.
While I disagree that Christmas songs could ever get annoying, the rest of his opinion was validated by many others who voiced concerns surrounding the stress and planning that almost always came hand-in-hand with this festive season. People felt that Christmas was already an overwhelming holiday, and to have that stress of purchasing gifts and making travel plans before mid-terms had even finished was just too much. Why that prevents you from listening to Mariah Carey belt one of the greatest songs of all time, though, is beyond me.
I say that in a world such as ours, where we are constantly bombarded by stories of hate, war, racism, discrimination and poverty, wanting to celebrate a time of love, family, and goodwill to mankind is no crime.
Christmas only comes around once a year and sometimes it is necessary to decorate some shortbread Christmas trees or make a couple snow angels in order to get yourself through the tension and anxiety present throughout the end of the year.
There is no reason why those who love Christmas should feel bad about wanting it to last as long as possible. Those people are excited and eager to spread love and warmth everywhere they go. Those are the people who keep the Christmas spirit alive even after the tree has been put back into storage and the last bit of snow has melted. Let people spread happiness. Goodness knows we all need more of it these days.
So if you need to wait until the first of December for your heart to grow three sizes, allowing you to embrace the magic of Christmas, be my guest. But just know that come November 12, my tree is up, Michael Bublé is blaring through my speakers, candy canes have been purchased and I am ready to start spreading Christmas cheer everywhere possible.
My advice to you all is that the holidays are always more enjoyable when they are embraced with a spirit full of wishes and a heart brimming with tenderness. Let people celebrate, and who knows, maybe their cheer will melt that icy exterior of yours and open you up to the idea that magic doesn’t have to be confined to just one of twelve months.