Flint Hill students ponder whether Christmas comes too early

Huskies wonder whether the celebration of Christmas overshadows the enjoyment of Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: sammyadebiyi.com

Huskies wonder whether the celebration of Christmas overshadows the enjoyment of Thanksgiving.

For many, including myself, Christmastime is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. It is a time when happiness just seems to fill the air, and people are inspired to want to be better. It is a time that symbolizes joy and the end of yet another year. And along with this joyous end comes the giving of gifts to loved ones as a demonstration of love! Yet…

I wonder what, among its many great qualities, makes this holiday so special compared to the many others that are celebrated throughout the calendar. Is it the fact that it is a brief period in time when people put away their inhibitions and embrace the world with open arms? Or, is it because it encompasses the material pleasures and benefits that other holidays do not include?

This year, in particular, it seems as if the holiday focuses more so on the latter. For, as soon as Halloween ended, nearly two months before Christmas Day, there were already Christmas decorations in stores, and Christmas music began to play on radio stations. Though I do realize that the acknowledgement of this holiday is fun and vital to its joyous spirit, in this early celebration, it seems as if we have lost track of another important holiday deserving recognition—Thanksgiving. Why skip over this holiday in favor of another? I decided to ask Flint Hill students how they felt about the matter.

“Thanksgiving … gets overlooked [because] there [aren’t] as many ways you can market it as a company,” said sophomore Rod Aryan. “ [For example,] there’s only so much you can do with a turkey, but [for] Christmas, [a company can market] …  presents, trees, lighting, [etc.]”

This is true. Looking past the feeling that surrounds Christmastime, from a capitalist viewpoint, it is a very profitable holiday. Therefore, it makes sense that stores want to prolong its celebration and remind customers that it is coming soon in an effort to inspire more shopping and greater profit. Yet I question whether the profitability of the Christmas holiday means that it is more important than Thanksgiving. Does it discredit the fact that, because Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday, it is also more widely celebrated? Does the profitability of Christmas mean that its November counterpart—the holiday on which we spend time with family and eat to give thanks for things that we have—is pointless and, thus, unworthy of consideration?

“I don’t think people pay as much attention to Thanksgiving as they should,” said sophomore Nia Simmons. “It’s important to see your family because that is [the one] time of year when everyone [can get] together.”

Maybe it’s about time that we get back to the true meaning of Christmas. It is something easy to ignore with every Christmas movie seemingly having the same message—Christmas is not about the presents—and parents always drilling that into our ears. But that doesn’t make it any less important. And then, maybe we can give some props to Thanksgiving as well—a holiday that is just as important as it also inspires us to spend time with family members whom we might not otherwise see.

Christmas is a popular holiday that deserves to be fairly celebrated as was demonstrated by the fact that each person interviewed stated that Christmas was his or her favorite holiday (not to mention my own). Of course, I recognize that not everyone celebrates Christmas, but everyone interviewed does.

Senior Hailey Scherer mentioned the importance of patience.

“It annoys me when Christmas things start popping up before Thanksgiving because I feel like every holiday should have its time,” said Scherer. “[Then] it becomes less special…But, at the same time I love Christmas. So, I’m sort of in that middle ground.”

However, though Christmas is an exciting time of year and easy to celebrate early, maybe it would be good for America—or at least its retailers—to simply take a step back and remember that Christmas is not the only important holiday. Every occasion we celebrate is celebrated for a reason and each deserves its time. Just as Halloween has its time in October, Thanksgiving deserves its time in November and Christmas in December. And that excitement, that anticipation that we feel before the precious Christmas holiday should not be acted on too early, but restrained— and savored, so that it is only more special and worthwhile in the end.