Early Christmas celebration highlights the joys of spending time with family

Graphic by David Solinsky / The Flat Hat

Let me start off by telling you a few things about myself. My favorite beverage is fresh, hot cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream. My favorite food is sweet potato casserole topped with gooey melted marshmallows. My favorite color combination is red and green, my favorite song is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” my favorite movie is “Elf”, my favorite tree is the evergreen and, as you may have guessed, my favorite holiday is Christmas.  

Every year, I start celebrating Christmas as early as I can. I usually start listening to carol playlists in mid-November, right after the Halloween hype dies down. Fortunately, I’m not alone. Bright lights seem to appear on my neighbors’ fences right as spooky season ends and I see cars driving down the highway with a balsam fir strapped to their roofs earlier every year. When I see these markers of the holiday season, it makes me happy. I’d like to think that others feel the same way, but alas, I always find myself encountering a Scrooge or two when I wear my light-up Christmas sweater before Thanksgiving; it’s a really cute sweater with a little picture of Santa sunbathing and cradling a margarita. 

“It’s way too early to celebrate Christmas,” they say with hearts that are two sizes too small. “Halloween just ended. It’s not even Thanksgiving.” I’ve wasted too much breath explaining why I love Christmas so much to these Grinches, so allow this to be my official pro-early Christmas manifesto. 

Christmas holds a very special place in my heart. Growing up, my parents’ busy season at work was always the month of December, with their stress reaching a fever pitch just before the Holy Night. They own a small catering business, and the holiday season brings about office parties, house parties, church and synagogue dinners, and a whole host of other events. Sometimes, my dad gets up for work so early and gets home so late that I might go a day or two at a time without seeing him. My little brother and I had occasionally spent the weekend before Christmas with our aunt and uncle because our parents were so busy trying to organize a perfect holiday, both for us and for their clients.  

Then, every Dec. 25, everything stops. I get to spend that morning warming myself by the fire and passing around presents with the people I care about most. My family and I sit in the living room for hours, laughing and telling stories about holidays gone by. We revel in the peace that follows a month of unending stress, the joy of a beautiful December morning and the love we feel for each other. 

To people who celebrate Christmas, that’s what the holiday represents: peace, joy and love. When me and my fellow Whos down in Whoville start reveling in the Christmas spirit earlier and earlier every year, it’s not because we’re trying to annoy those who aren’t as excited as we are, and we’re certainly not trying to force the holiday on people who don’t celebrate it. We do it because we want to spread the feelings that, to us, represent Christmas. We want to spread peace, joy and love. So the next time you think about writing a snarky tweet when you see red and green lights Nov. 1, I ask that you take a moment to remember what those lights represent to the people that put them up.  

Email Aidan White at amwhite02@email.wm.edu.


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