When is it too early to decorate for Christmas?

If you’ve been to Walmart any time within the past week or so and have managed not to see the rows of Christmas decorations (along with those of other holidays that occur in a similar time frame), you must have some kind of superpower. It’s pretty big, and it keeps on growing. Attributed to the many gasps, groans, and sighs I have heard when I’ve mentioned it or even just simply walking through the aisles, I am very aware that not many people are fond of this; this is clearly much too early to be decorating for Christmas in their opinions.  

However, my feelings are the polar opposite: I’m the one you see skipping down those aisles before Halloween has even happened yet, dragging carts of garlands, lights, and swag along with me. If you’re on the other side, you’re probably rolling your eyes, scoffing. But I invite you for just a moment to be open. My reasoning for wanting to blast Christmas music as soon as it becomes November and hang up all my lights early in October isn’t because I am overly religious; or because I want to be eccentric or obnoxious; or because I am childish, although I would argue that most of those are all valid reasons for decorating as early as you want. I do it for a very simple reason: if it makes you happy, just do it. 

Everyone has their own personal preference, and I understand that. The world should understand that. I will respect you no matter when you decorate: whether that be March, October, or even never. If it’s what you want and it makes you happy, abide by that. That’s why I think there is no “too early” to decorate for Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday. 

You might say I’m biased since I like to decorate early myself, and that I’m only giving this sappy story about happiness to give myself an excuse to decorate in August. But I know for a fact the reason I decorate is because of the warm happiness that Christmas and all its memories bring me, and that’s part of the reason why I love it so much. When I look around at all these trees and lights and the red, green, and gold lining the streets and walls, I feel happy. I feel relieved, and it lifts some of the burden of college off me for just a moment. Would you really deny me this feeling just because you yourself don’t like seeing Christmas decorations this early? Or, vice versa, would you really deny someone else the feeling of happiness they get from decorating late or not at all if you were in my shoes? 

Whether you believe or not, the reason for the season (other than what it has culturally and colloquially become in many areas of the world) is to treat others the way you want to be treated; I don’t think it should be too difficult to allow someone just a bit of happiness in their life simply by keeping your personal opinions to yourself. 

Photo: R. Nickson
Guest Writer: Laurel Gallaudet

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