It’s Debatable: Are we decking the halls too early?
Tiny children weren’t even ready for Trick or Treating before their eyes were already supposed to be all aglow due to the early arrival of Christmas decorations. Halloween wasn’t even over before the winter holiday decor rolled into stores, which begs the big question: are we decking the halls a little too early?
As long as I can remember, most people in my family have been really big on Christmas and have always began decorating for Christmas part of the way through November. My family is among the many that don’t celebrate the holiday because of religion, but because it’s a tradition. Christmas is now a holiday that’s open to everyone, not just those of the Christian faith. If I’m being completely honest I’m not a huge fan of Christmas and think the best part is receiving and opening presents. I know it’s selfish, but who doesn’t like receiving gifts from others? The second best part of the holiday season has to be the beautiful and sometimes creative decorations.
Remember earlier when I said we usually decorate mid-November? This year the decorations started going up the first of November, which even I can admit is a bit too early. But holiday decorations, inside and out, happen to be a little guilty pleasure of mine. From a lit up garland wrapping around the banister to the little Christmas town filled with houses and shops, to outdoor lights and ornaments, it’s impossible to drive through the neighborhood and not see at least one decorated house. However, I think indoor decorations leave more room for more creativity and are even more beautiful than the outdoor adornments. According to History.com, 88% of Americans put up Christmas trees during the holidays. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t decorate or celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to deny how gorgeous decorated houses look during the holidays.
Not only do holiday decorations give us something pretty to look at, but they can also help bring a little joy to people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that springs up during the different seasons, with the most common being during the winter months. SAD might be linked to changes in the amount of daylight humans receive. Psychology Today states that SAD affects around 10 million Americans, and another 10 to 20 percent could have mild SAD.
Although part of the reason I enjoy winter decorations may be because they have been shoved down our throats from a young age, I can’t think of any other seasons that have holidays which bring about as beautiful decorations as those seen throughout November and December. It’s not an awful thing to be festive, fun, and have lots of holiday cheer. Even if some may think decorations come about much too early, is that such an awful thing after all?
Written by Madeline Capka
Christmas decorations come out far too early. It was barely halfway through October before I saw Halloween decorations being put away and Christmas decorations coming out in stores like Michael’s. I love Christmas and other holidays just as much as the next person, but I think that putting Christmas decorations out almost two months early is a bit excessive.
Christmas decorations are coming out earlier and earlier every year. According to theblaze.com, researcher Nathan Cunningham has discovered that people start thinking Christmas as soon as August 25. Decorations begin to appear in stores a mere two months later, before Halloween has even begun.
The early arrival of Christmas decorations takes away from the other holidays that take place in the fall. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other fall celebrations get overshadowed by the Christmas decorations that come out in October. The major issue with this is that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Even though 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas according to washingtontimes.com, it is still a religion-specific holiday. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a national time for celebration.
Not only does the early arrival of Christmas decorations take away from other holidays, it also takes away from the Christmas spirit because it’s motivated by money. The song “The Christmas Can Can” by Straight No Chaser (which you can listen to here) sums it up when they say “Thoughts of joy and hope and cheer but mostly shopping.” Stores bring out Santa Clauses and snowmen earlier to cater to consumers. 40% of consumers start their Christmas shopping before Halloween based on a National Retail Federation survey as reported by chicagotribune.com. The website also reports that in 2015, over $626 billion were spent on holiday retail items. The problem with this is that Christmas, for most people, is not about the gifts and decorations. Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Jesus and time with family and friends. When the decorations come out so early, it distracts from the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is a time for cheeriness and joy, and there’s nothing wrong with trimming the tree or decking the halls. The holiday just needs to wait a little while longer.
Written by Karoline Betteridge