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Opinion

Christmas arrives earlier and earlier every year

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November 4, 2011

Snow on the East Coast, Christmas songs on the radio, Christmas merchandise in every store and no sign of Thanksgiving. It must be at least Black Friday, right? Wrong.

We have only just entered November and are already being bombarded with Christmas. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. But having Christmas forced upon me right after Halloween is a little extreme. I don’t know if it’s true for the Twin Cities area, but in the Milwaukee area, Christmas songs begin to takeover the radio on Nov. 1. In fact, back on Homecoming weekend, the Shopko in town was already selling Christmas trees and other such things. Isn’t selling this stuff before Halloween just a little early?

It seems like each year Christmas comes along earlier and earlier. Fliers and catalogs for Christmas shopping are sent out well before Thanksgiving and sales begin earlier and earlier as well. I have no problem celebrating Christmas before December actually rolls around, but celebrating it before Thanksgiving is a bit extreme.

And why are we so keen to pass over Thanksgiving? Many people consider it one of the best holidays, right up there with Christmas and the 4th of July. Thanksgiving only differs from Christmas in one main way; we don’t get gifts, but everything else is fundamentally the same. We see our family, even the relatives we didn’t know we had, we get to eat more food than we really should and we get to watch some football. It’s really the perfect American holiday.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning Christmas in any way. I love the holiday. I love the songs. I love the trees. Of course I love the gifts. I could do without the snow though. In fact, I even plan on having a Christmas tree adorn my dorm room this year. However, my room will only be turned into a festive Christmas scene after Thanksgiving has passed. Starting on Black Friday, I allow myself to get into the Christmas spirit, but not before.

Starting Christmas in November is a bit too early for my taste. Starting it before Halloween is just plain absurd. Yet, more and more we see Christmas popping up in early October. Could we see the trees start to pop up in September? And Christmas movies that come out in mid-November? Really? I know a lot of the Christmas movies are great,but they need to wait to come out until at least Black Friday, not before.

I know a lot of people love Christmas with a passion. In fact, I know people that already have their dorm room decked out with lights, a tree and music. And while I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s Christmas parade, I just think maybe we start celebrating Christmas too early. It’s an over commercialized holiday, so it gets pushed ahead of Thanksgiving and Halloween in the department stores. Just try to remember when you see the Christmas decorations in Wal-Mart, or Toy Land in Fleet Farm (yes it’s open already) we have one of the best holidays to come before we even get to Christmas. Thanksgiving is a great day and doesn’t deserve to be overlooked by the looming Christmas.

Benjamin Lamers is an alumnus of UW-River Falls. He was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during fall semester 2013.