Opinion: The (Objectively) Right Way to Start Your Christmas Season

Christmas decorations for sale at Riverside Gifts and Treasures in downtown Albion. Located on Superior street, the owners put the decor out a few months in advance to transition into the holiday spirit (Photo by Phoebe Holm).

Climate change has affected our weather, but just because it finally snowed (like, really snowed) last night doesn’t mean it’s Christmas quite yet. This might be a controversial opinion, but I don’t want to hear “Jingle Bells” over a month before the holiday season actually starts. And though we may officially be past Thanksgiving, there are many who have been celebrating the Christmas season for weeks.

I love Christmas as much as the next person, but do we really need to break out the trees and Santa roof decorations on Nov. 1? If you think “people don’t actually do that,” you would be wrong.

A friend of mine in Greek life, Taylor Clark, Mikado junior, absolutely loves Christmas. She wanted to decorate the Kappa Delta lodge for Christmas on Halloween. Thankfully, she waited until the Monday before Thanksgiving break.

“I wanted to decorate our lodge right after Halloween because we only have three or four weeks left of the semester,” Clark said. “I wanted us to be able to enjoy our Christmas decorations.”

Christmas is Great, but Give Thanksgiving its Time!

I understand that we only have three weeks on campus after Thanksgiving break, but you can still appreciate the decorations in that short amount of time! And yes, people want to be organized and plan ahead, but I stand firm when I say to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas decorations.

What drives me crazy about this time of year is that the production of new Christmas decorations seems to be quickening – which puts them on the shelf even sooner than years before. I went into Target about a month ago and they were already taking down the Halloween section and putting up the Christmas decorations in its place.

My mom and I don’t start putting up decorations until December; in my opinion, stores should start doing that too. I know Christmas is the holiday that brings in the most money, which is why they have the decorations out so early, but screw capitalism.

Stores don’t start putting out Thanksgiving things super early like Christmas. There aren’t over-the-top turkey decorations that replace the Halloween items in the store. Usually, Thanksgiving is given a much smaller section, mostly because it doesn’t need the decorations like Christmas does. After all, Thanksgiving is about the food, not how pretty your house looks all dressed up.

It’s also about spending time with family, even if you have to be around people you don’t care for. Personally, I loved spending time with my uncle. We have a competition to see who can eat the most mashed potatoes; it’s me.

Thanksgiving is an underappreciated holiday. You get free food and holiday pay if you choose to work. Even though this holiday doesn’t need elaborate decor, it still deserves its time to shine!

Christmas Fuels Climate Change

Going back to climate change, why are more and more companies creating new decorations? To get more money, obviously – but they also do it because they don’t care about the environment. The customers don’t seem to care all that much either.

More wrapping paper has been produced, along with ornaments that people purchase but will probably never use again after this holiday season. Over 100 million bags of Christmas stuff goes into the landfill each year. This includes ribbon, toys and decorations. Only because people don’t want to reuse the decor from last year? Ridiculous.

The holiday has become more “Hallmark” and less about spending time with those you care about. Christmas is supposed to be about spreading joy, not complaining because you didn’t get the thing on your list or going on about how pretty your house looks with decorations that will end up trashed a month (or six, depending on your family) later.

Make Your Christmas More Green

Because we’re tight on finances, my mom and I use the same wrapping paper we have had – for years – to wrap gifts, instead of buying new rolls. Yes, I know the paper that gets thrown away will go into the landfill, but the pieces that don’t get seriously destroyed can be reused. We save clothing boxes and gift bags, too. The only holiday decoration we buy is a long-standing family tradition: Buying one new ornament every year, a mother animal with their baby.

One way to make your holiday more green is to make decorations with things you have lying around the house. It’s easy to make homemade ornaments and garlands with construction paper; maybe even out of clothes you don’t wear anymore.

I understand that for some people it’s hard not to buy anything because they have the money to spend and they want to make their houses look pretty for Christmas, but this holiday shouldn’t be as commercialized as it is.

In my opinion, Christmas shouldn’t “start” until at least after Thanksgiving. With all the decor in the stores and the stuff we have put up already, it’s like celebrating pre-Christmas with Thanksgiving elements. On top of that, the Christmas we do celebrate should be less commercial.

I hope this information inspires you to make your Christmas more genuine, green and reasonably priced – but until then, I better not hear any Mariah Carey.

About Rhiannon Slotnick 29 Articles
Rhiannon Slotnick is a Junior from Detroit, Michigan. She is double majoring in English Literature Creative Writing and Sociology. She enjoys putting words on to paper for both work and for personal pleasure. If she's not writing, you can find her reading a book or stargazing around campus. You can contact her at rms15@albion.edu

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