Way too early for Christmas

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

For us senior citizens, we know that sentence represents the title of a highly popular holiday song from 1951 (and still a hit today) performed by the legendary Perry Como.

But I’m not referencing that particular tune here….rather making an observation; it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

This past Friday night, on the drive home from a long day at the office, I was scanning channels on the radio trying to find a high school football game to listen to and occupy my time. I found a couple, but by the time I tuned in both were lopsided scores, causing me to lose interest.

However, I did stumble across something I didn’t expect….Christmas music. I quickly glanced at the date on my cell phone to make sure I hadn’t entered some type of “Twilight Zone” or time warp and missed the entire month of November.

Nope….it was November 1 and the radio station I was tuned in to was playing “The First Noel.”

Wow….really? I mean Halloween was roughly 24 hours ago and the focus has changed that quickly to Christmas….four weeks before Thanksgiving!!

Call me old-fashioned, but I like things in a neat order: pumpkins and trick-or-treaters for Halloween; turkey, taters, and stuffing towards the end of November, and then I’ll reluctantly make the switch over to the Christmas season. Typically, I’ll wait until about Dec. 15 to really get serious about it.

Adding to the way-too-early holiday songs on the radio was a couple of Facebook posts I saw this past weekend. A few of my friends on that social media outlet were announcing their intentions to begin decorating for Christmas….as in right now!

I went online in an attempt to discover what others think about the proper time to put up Christmas decorations. The majority said on Thanksgiving Day or the day after. Quoting one directly, “Growing up it was my family tradition to go out Thanksgiving evening to pick out a tree then we would set it up the next day. I loved that tradition so I stuck with it and tend to put up our artificial tree on Thanksgiving day or that weekend.”

There are some (including a few of my unnamed Facebook friends) who rally behind the cry, “the sooner the better” (for hanging decorations and putting up their tree). Perhaps they are more nostalgic about this special time of the year, believing it makes their day and nights brighter and merrier (literally and figuratively) by getting an early start on decorating for Christmas.

There’s even a psychological edge to decorating early for the holidays.

I read an online article from ABC News that quoted Amy Morin, a Florida-based psychotherapist and the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”

“When you’re putting up decorations, you’re thinking of happier times, times with family and friends and family traditions you engaged in,” she said. “For some people it’s bittersweet — if family members are no longer here — but it’s still a way to connect.”

Another aspect of Christmas joy comes from the tradition of giving during the holiday season, explains Morin.

“Altruism increases in the month of December and as people start to give more and donate more, it makes them happy,” she said. “It makes people feel good so they want to start celebrating as early as possible.”

With all due respect to Ms. Morin, I’m just not buying it. To each, their own, I guess; but I’m sticking to my belief that let’s first get Halloween and Thanksgiving in our collective rear view mirror before tackling the next major holiday.

I’d love to hear what you think on this issue. Contact me (via the email or phone number shown below) and give me your opinion.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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