Christmastime is Here?

I think we can all agree that the holiday season should bring people together, not divide them. But for some reason there is this weird debate around whether or not it’s okay to start celebrating Christmas early. Obviously this is a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but it shows our tendency to put others down for their preferences, and that isn’t ok. Some people see Christmas decorations displayed in stores on November 1st (or earlier!) and are overjoyed. Others see these decorations and are annoyed or even sad. So my question is, why do we even care how other people feel about this and why do we make fun of them when their feelings on the subject are different from ours?

Before I get into the debate, I should mention that this article is just about Christmas, and not about the other wonderful December holidays because Christmas music and decorations are overwhelmingly present everywhere you go. I haven’t seen this level of divisiveness among people who celebrate Hanukkah or other holidays, so I’ll be talking about Christmas.

 

Here’s the thing. I LOVE Christmas. This is partly because my birthday is in December, but mostly because there’s something about drinking hot cocoa around the fireplace, listening to Christmas music, and putting up the tree that brings me a unique kind of joy. Because of my deep love for Christmas, I start blasting Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on November 1st, much to the annoyance of everyone around me. I’m not trying to disrespect Thanksgiving by any means. Thanksgiving is the only holiday whose main activity is eating, so of course I love it. But there aren’t any Thanksgiving songs and nobody really decorates for Thanksgiving. I don’t get excited about Thanksgiving weeks in advance. For me, it doesn’t produce the same emotional response.

But just because Christmas makes me happy doesn’t mean it makes everyone happy. Christmas is a very weird time of year because it brings up a ton of old memories, and most people spend lots of time with family. If you have ever lost a family member, you know how hard the first few Christmases can be without that person there. Additionally, if you grew up in an abusive household, if you were neglected, or if your family simply didn’t have enough money to make your Christmases seem equal to your friends’ Christmases, the holiday probably does not bring up happy memories. Christmas is a big deal for kids, so if a traumatic childhood event happened around Christmas, it’s hard to move past that.

 

Essentially, if I want people to stop hating on my love for Christmas, I in turn need to respect why other people may dislike the holiday season. Decorating for a holiday too early and admitting you don’t like a holiday are both completely harmless, so let people live the way they want to and feel the way they feel. This Thanksgiving season, I'll be listening to John Legend's new Christmas album and minding my own business. Here's to hoping nobody judges me for it. 

 

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