So, I spent some time this weekend (and last weekend if I’m being honest) putting up Christmas stuff. As I was reading through social media this week, I saw multiple posts where people were fussing about others putting Christmas stuff up “too early” or people were putting their stuff up and posting pictures with the comment of “Don’t come at me for this.”
I have always wondered why it mattered to so many people when other people put the Christmas tree up, but I wonder that even more this year. You see, it seems to me like this year has been full of hard times, worries, unease, discontent, and general unkindness. I am one of those people that typically puts the Christmas decorations up early. I have done this for years. It isn’t because I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. It is because I love the twinkling lights and happy faces of Christmas. I love the magic of Christmas. They make me happy. They make my kids happy.
Quite honestly, one of the best Christmases we ever had was the year that I had absolutely everything (including buying and wrapping) finished by Thanksgiving. We spent the next month after Thanksgiving that year doing the fun things of Christmas. We watched movies, baked cookies, read stories, made crafts, and had time to do some of the things that just mean a little more at Christmas, too. We all 4 did Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and we got 2 names off the Angel Tree that we got to shop for that year. We got to go see all the parades, cook special meals, have friends over, and truly relax and enjoy the Christmas season. It was the calmest and happiest Christmas season we have ever had. This was all while I had surgery, Alyssa played middle school basketball and had games and tournaments, B played Upward basketball, and we were all doing things at church.
For us, it just works to put the decorations up early. I have friends that wait until after Thanksgiving, some that wait until the 1st of December, a couple that wait until the 12 days before Christmas, and 1 that puts it all up on Christmas Eve and has it all back down on the 26th. I think that is all wonderful. Every bit of it. It isn’t what I do, but what does that matter?
Why has this become such a big deal to people? I finally got an answer from a post someone else put up that said it makes it harder for people who don’t enjoy Christmas. I totally understand that, and I am truly sorry that it has that affect on someone. I personally need it to help me get through the changing of the season. I love fall, but I hate to see the leaves go away and I don’t like the barren trees and brown grass of winter. It helps when I miss people who can’t be here because of location because I remember the fun things we have done together when I get those decorations out. It helps me feel close to my Nana who has been gone since August of 2017 because most of my decorations came from her store and I can remember her always liking the way I decorated.
This year, I have seen more people struggle with emotional baggage due to the pandemic, the election, hurricanes, fires, murder hornets, school closures, etc. I have also seen more people saying they were putting up their Christmas stuff earlier than they ever have because it makes them happy. I guess my question in all of it is simply, “Why does it matter to someone else if I put my tree up early?” There are so many thing going on in this world. So many big things that we need to work together on. So many things we can fight over that actually make a difference. So why is it the Christmas decorations that are the sticking point? What’s the real deal?
I guess, for me, it doesn’t matter if you put them up early or late, if the baby Jesus is already in your nativity or not, if the Magi are wandering around your house or have already found the crèche on the mantle, if you love the Christmas Shoes song or hate it, if you choose to celebrate Christmas or another holiday, if you do a ton of gifts or none. In my mind, do what makes you happy. None of these things are hurtful to another person. Do something that makes you smile. If that means you have pumpkins on the porch and elves in the windows, go for it. Find something that will bring a little more light to your world this year. There is definitely no reason to choose now to dull your sparkle. Yes, my tree is up and lit. The ornaments and angel will happen later this week. I have snowmen all over my kitchen. The Polar Express table is almost finished, and the mantle is done (including the nativity with the baby Jesus and magi all in attendance). I have Christmas pillows out, the tree in my bedroom is up, and there are more trees on the way. I plan on Black Friday shopping, and then wrapping everything on the next day. Then I plan on sitting back and relaxing with my family and enjoying the Christmas season. I hope you will enjoy this season, too.