Commentary: When does the Christmas season actually start?

Emilie Casey, Correspondent

Christmas is America’s favorite holiday, and rightfully so. What’s not to love? There are pretty decorations, catchy songs and time to spend with your loved ones. However, there’s one specific detail that sparks rage and debate: When does the Christmas season start? 

It seems almost everyone has die-hard beliefs on when the Christmas season actually starts, and no one is willing to negotiate. There’s always that person who starts listening to Christmas music as soon as the first leaf turns red and that person who insists on starting their holiday festivities on the first weekend of December. When these two meet, it can get ugly. It’s time to answer the age-old, friendship breaking, truly trivial question. When does the Christmas season start?

Let’s look at the facts first. Christmas season originally comes from Christmastide, which celebrates the birth of Jesus. Christmastide starts on Dec. 25 and lasts for a full 12 days, ending on Jan. 5 (the reasoning behind the Christmas classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas”). Most can agree that the season doesn’t start on Christmas Day, so that isn’t much help. 

Luckily, corporate America decided to step in and unofficially start the holiday cheer on… Nov. 1? While stores may forget about Thanksgiving, it seems that regular citizens have enough courtesy to wait until after Turkey Day to put up Christmas decorations. 

According to a small survey of 78 Naperville Central students, 66% of people polled all agree that Thanksgiving is valid and deserves its own spotlight, so they wait until the first week after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas. On the flip side, 7% of the people polled think that it’s okay to skip Thanksgiving and put up Christmas decorations before then. 

“Thanksgiving is so late this year,” sophomore Ryan Troke said. “I don’t think Christmas season can start just in December. It’s too short and feels like it’s over before it starts.” 

With Thanksgiving falling on Nov. 28 this year, which is the latest it can possibly be, some people do feel cheated out of a few days of the Christmas season. 

It’s pretty easy to ignore premature holiday decorations, but it’s a lot harder to brush off that one person who that hasn’t stopped humming Andy Williams’ hit Christmas song from 1963, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (which was released on Oct.14. Think about that). 

The bulk of anger toward the Christmas season stems from people arguing about when you can listen to Christmas songs. In the same survey, 46% of people deemed it acceptable to listen to Christmas music in November, but 10% thought it was a year-round activity. 

“It should be treated like any other genre of music,” sophomore Zoe Kennedy said. “Just like you would not tell someone they can’t listen to country music just because it’s not summertime. Christmas music truly is a ‘good bop’ and is fun to listen to whenever.” 

With this in mind, it could be considered a little rude to be mad at someone for listening to Christmas music. It’s like mocking anything else someone may enjoy.

The extreme controversy and strong opinions surrounding the length of the Christmas season can almost ruin the experience. With all the data analyzed and opinions collected, it’s safe to say there is an answer. The semi-official Christmas season is… drum roll please …it depends? 

Christmas has many traditions and aspects, and it’s hard to pinpoint a time that’s acceptable for all of them. Generally speaking, however, Christmas music just makes people happy and can be a year-round thing, but decorating should be reserved for any time after Thanksgiving. 

With all said and done, don’t be a Grinch toward what other people do, and let everyone celebrate how they want to. Just follow your jolly, little heart and have a Merry Christmas! Happy holidays everyone!