Fire crackles in the hearth, showering the living room in a flickering light. The scent of balsam permeates the room. Families and friends chat excitedly on the couch, anticipating warm chocolate chip cookies that will soon be fresh out of the oven.
These images remind us of the holiday season, a wonderful time of year that brings communities together to reflect on the long year and take a break to enjoy one another’s company. Christmas is a whimsical holiday, with classic music and cheer. Naturally, one wishes to bask in its warmth as long as possible. Thus, Christmas celebrations begin earlier and earlier every year. December 1st, November 25th, or November 1st, even. The incentive behind stretching the season out is easily understandable. It’s a time associated with joy and kindness, but the further you stretch the holiday, the less special it becomes.
Christmas is most enjoyable when celebrated after Thanksgiving. Delayed gratification often amplifies the degree of our fulfillment, and waiting to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving makes the season seem more special while simultaneously allowing us to enjoy Thanksgiving to its full extent as well.
The end of the year is chock-full of holidays back to back. Why should one holiday overshadow the others? Thanksgiving is just as enjoyable and holds the same core principles as Christmas. People are brought together by their love for each other. Dinner is shared to reflect on the importance of gratitude. It stirs the same feeling of contentment and bliss. There is no reason to overcompensate with Christmas decorations before it is appropriate. Thanksgiving deserves its rightful time to be celebrated without the impending melody of Mariah Carey’s infamous holiday song.
Furthermore, not everyone celebrates Christmas. There is no reason for the holiday to take over such a significant portion of the year, especially because it’s not observed by the entirety of the population. Christmas music is unbearable enough for people who do celebrate. There is no reason to berate everyone with faux merriment for three months.
Every year, people complain that Christmas just “doesn’t feel like Christmas.” After all, one of the most popular Christmas songs of the last decade is called “Where are you Christmas?” Perhaps that is because we celebrate earlier, allowing less enjoyment during the true time of celebration. The decorations are treasured because they are only present for a limited amount of time. If we can bring ourselves to relish in the joys of Christmas during the approximate month it is celebrated, we just might find our Christmas again.