Christmas Season Starts in November. Deal With It.

For some, “Christmas creep” is about enjoying holiday music and movies as soon as Halloween is over. Let them do so in peace.

Comments: 180

  1. I, too, used to lament the early arrival of Christmas, but it seems as if holiday spirit is needed more than ever, so bring it on. Thank you Ms. Harris for a well-timed and astute essay.

  2. The Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today actually comes from the Lincoln administration following Gettysburg when he called for a “national day of thanksgiving.” While I certainly understand the significant and despicable history of the European efforts to decimate native peoples, I like to focus on the desire for some national unity in the midst of one of the greatest national emergencies our country ever endured. The Civil War almost destroyed our country. In my mind, setting aside a day for gratitude is essential as a reminder what we have and to give to those who have less.

  3. "For all its noble intentions, Thanksgiving just can’t compete with the powerful signifiers of Christmas." Thanksgiving include all. Christmas is, after all, a Christian religious holiday. While this type of op-ed sees Christmas (non-realistically) as some sort of universal cultural festival, it is a religious holiday and non-inclusive: Jews, Muslims, Hindus are not part of it. Thanksgiving's cultural markers are just fine. (Neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas should have to suffer this jargon: signifiers, cultural markers etc.)

  4. @Joshua Schwartz Exactly. To my mind everything the author trashes about Thanksgiving is everything that's preferable about Thanksgiving.

  5. @Joshua Schwartz Actually, Christmas is a pagan holiday co-opted by the Christians. It has nothing to do with Christianity, really. Early Christian leaders lent it religious significance because, despite their best efforts, they couldn't get their adherents to give up the pagan Winter Solstice celebrations. So, in the true Christian spirit of the season, go ahead and jump in and claim it for yourselves, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. Christians have no credible moral standing to object if others appropriate the holiday that they themselves brazenly stole from other folks.

  6. @ToddTsch Thank you. I am well aware of the history of Christmas and Christianity as I teach and study, inter alia, Byzantine period Christian geography. I am also well aware of the pagan roots of many festivals. However, what makes you think that I would celebrate a pagan festival, co-opted or not?

  7. Christmas advertisements were running before Halloween candy was collected by knee high hob goblins. It wasn't kids with the sugar rush.

  8. this is kind of laughable, as this is really all about consumerism at the end of the day. It has less and less to do with the 'holiday spirit' or the 'season of giving' and more about Amazon and Co. asking us to open our wallets earlier and earlier each year.

  9. @Adam Only if you choose to open your wallet.

  10. Christmas season starts in July when home shopping channel QVC runs a Christmas in July sales event. The "season" gathers steam from there and goes into January clearance sales. Catalogs start arriving in my mailbox after Labor Day and we get as many as ten a day after Columbus Day to include firms we've never heard of. We "deal with it" just fine...every year we spend less and less in protest of the ungodly fleecing of consumers in the name of some holy figure -- but it's the almighty dollar they worship. Not us. We keep our money in our pocket and avoid shopping malls after Labor Day. We hunker down on Black Friday and shake our heads at the annual stories of th working poor flooding into a WalMart and trampling some poor old lady. Sad.

  11. Speaking of peace The holiday music is what invades my mind and makes it hard to get any peace. Can't we give our senses a break? These days it's cell phone noise on top of the music. My mother, the flute player, delights in playing Christmas music all year round. I have listened to untold hours of her practicing Christmas carols in the middle of summer- yea! Glad you like Christmas. Not everybody does

  12. The United States has become such a grim, crude, rude, uncivil, anxiety-inducing place these past few years that shopping-therapy feels like freedom and the nostalgia for good old-fashioned JOY elevates this season into an optimism-inducing celebration. As world class consumers we can’t blame ourselves for wanting to be happy even if it is at the behest of profit-making corporations. We can play at being kids again before the horror of politics threatened to trash our sleep. Some of us practice true charity, others gather as families and friends to break bread, many worship their god in community, regardless of their religion. We are desperate for some fun, right?

  13. I'm going to be in London for Thanksgiving, and the famous Christmas markets and street lights have been set up since last week. Seems to be a long tradition, but no here has been grumbling about consumerism and marketing.

  14. @Van -- I spent Thanksgiving in London once. The best thing was a sandwich from Pret that was all the tastes of Thanksgiving combined into one. Delicious. PS -- look out for Black Friday. They celebrate it in England even though I'm not sure everyone know what it is or why it's a "thing." Have fun!

  15. Yes. It starts in November. Late November. AFTER Thanksgiving. I'll hear no arguments to the contrary. The expert on the matter (me) has spoken.

  16. @MattL1 Exactly. This year is starts on Dec 1st, the first Sunday of Advent.

  17. I’ve been putting up my Christmas decorations earlier since Trump was elected and I was shortly thereafter diagnosed with cancer. I really wish that all of the judgmental people out there would take a moment and think that people might do things for reasons behind the narrow scope of their opinions.

  18. @Michael Judge Amen! Enjoy, brother! Do you! And with Sondland gift-wrapping Chump for impeachment today, put you on some music and have some eggnog! Happy Holiday on Nov. 20!!

  19. @Michael Judge good for you....and I hope that you recover quickly and fully.

  20. sadly, it doesn't even wait for halloween to be over any more. i started hearing holiday music in stores the last 10 days of october. not to mention the holiday movies on multiple cable outlets, also in october.

  21. I'm pretty much an atheist, and yet I enjoy Christmas. Parades, parties, decorations, music, gifts, traditional foods, and being together with family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next (there's very little evidence that if Jesus was born at all he was born in December), all in a spirit of peace and goodwill, seems to me a perfectly reasonable way to remind us of our shared humanity and that at least part of life's purpose is joy. Sure it's commercial, but in case you haven't noticed, we are a commercial economy. Increased business for shop keepers and manufacturer's, for food producers and grocers, may be a good thing. We might hope that fewer of those businesses were monopolized by huge corporations, but that is a problem all year long--not unique to Christmas. I realize that Jews and Buddhists, Hindus and Zoroastrians, Sikhs, and Muslims may feel excluded, but I hope that they don't. For all but a few devout Christians, the religious meaning of the holiday (which means holy day, BTW--for those offended when someone says 'happy holidays') is pretty much swallowed up by the celebration. The way we celebrate Christmas is really more American than Christian. Indeed, early Christians thought it heresy to celebrate Christmas on the 25th, the date of a more ancient Roman holiday.

  22. The only reason to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving is to pad retailer's bottom-lines. It's gross. I'll stick to putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and taking it down the first week of January.

  23. @MC When I grew up the tree went up on Christmas eve. I think it was because my mother grew up in a time and place when candles were the lights. In my world it goes up mid December and comes down New Year's eve. But we still use real trees and they dry out. I suspect you have a fake tree if you leave it up that long.

  24. @Ceilidth We put up a Concolor Fir the day after Thanksgiving, and while it was a tad fragile, it was still up and holding needles in early January. It took lots of water! (One year, a fir actually put out new growth in the living room.)

  25. @Ceilidth We put our (REAL Noble Fir) up the day after Thanksgiving. But, we choose it and cut it that day and keep it well watered there after. Also, with LED lights there is virtually no heat generated and no one smokes so the danger is nil. When we take it down on either New Year’s Day (or the Epiphany, depending on travel), it is always as pliable as the day we put it up.

  26. This is a frivolous debate in a serious moment in time, but I love it. I think the Christmas encroachment is indicative of our (increasing) lack of patience. We want everything right now, and in most cases, we can make it happen, whether it be constantly refreshed news, same-day delivery, entertainment on-demand and without commercials, etc. Unfortunately I don’t think it works that way with Christmas, and starting the season well before Thanksgiving is only going to dilute the positive impact of the Christmas season. New rule: No Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

  27. Thanksgiving is important, as it is for everyone, since it is not a religious holiday. The only reason for early Christmas is money pure & simple. Has nothing to do with any holiday spirit. The gathering of family together for a fun crazy meal that may include anything & everything, and inviting not just family, but friends who may be alone is the real spirit of a holiday. In addition all those who volunteer to feed the homeless or those alone, the special boxes of food distributed to those in need, that is something that should truly inspire warm feelings. I also love Christmas, but it is easy to love with the additional gifts and endless parties. But Thanksgiving is a true show of love and celebration without a material reward.

  28. @marie So well said. Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday for all the reasons you stated. Even as a young boy I enjoyed Thanksgiving and being with everyone more than alI the gifts and Christmas craziness. I was just talking with my wife the other night...we grew up in the 60's through 80's and were sadly saying that the REAL holidays are not observed the way they used to be. Makes us very sad... nonetheless... Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

  29. @marie Who are you thanking -- and loving and celebrating -- and for what, in November? What is "spirit?" What does "holiday" mean?

  30. If you don’t already know, there’s no point in trying to explain it to you.

  31. Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker". Handel's "Messiah". Bach's "Christmas Oratorio". And the Vince Guaraldi Trio! It's never too soon to rejoice in the glorious music of the season. If it lifts spirits, brings smiles, and permeates our days with gladness, bring on Christmas, says I!

  32. @minkairship As though that's what you hear in the stores. If only it were. Then we grumpusses wouldn't complain.

  33. @Ceilidth LOL to the nth -- I agree, the "most wonderful time of the year" starts to not feel so wonderful when you've heard it for the jillionth time!

  34. @minkairship For every magnificent piece of Christmas music, there are at least half a dozen unlistenables such as “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” or the Chipmunk’s Christmas Song. No, I do not want a hula hoop...sigh

  35. The push for consumers to start Christmas shopping begins the day after Halloween. Thanksgiving is reduced to being the start of December as the Christmas Month. How much longer before Christmas shopping starts on the day after Labor Day? Re-purpose back-to-school shopping as early Christmas shopping. There was a time when people would whimsically ask "Why can't every day be Christmas?" Soon they won't have to ask.

  36. Let's face it: People in the US are a hot, tacky, mess. Wonder what Jesus's take on Mariah Carey's big, fake, bare breasts are in regard to celebrating his birth? There is no restraint, no common sense and certainly no good taste involved in this geed fest. As the child of poor farmers in the 1950's, the tree was brought by "Santa", appearing by magic on Christmas morning. Of course my father cut it down in the woods and my mother spent the night decorating it. We got an orange in our stockings, real socks pinned to the end of the bed my sister and I shared. We went to the church christmas mass and spent the day with family. We got very few gifts as there was 1. no money, 2. no need. No one had much but we all knew how to make things. We were grateful, because our parents taught us to be GRATEFUL. We could survive anything -- and did.

  37. @Eve Elzenga I grew up in a poor neighborhood in Chicago. Santa brought the tree then too, although we didn't get to chop one down. Our families couldn't afford them much before Christmas, but they went on sale on Christmas eve and my cousin and I (13 and 15 respectively) would go out and buy one that night and we would all decorate it so that, in the morning, my youngest cousin could wake up to the tree that Santa brought.

  38. @Eve Elzenga Jesus’ thoughts on the artificially pneumatic Mariah? Probably about the same as wondering how his statement “I was the stranger and you welcomed me,” got forgotten by putative followers of him who separate refugee children from their parents and put those children in cages. In fact, I think there’s a New Testament verse appropriate to this abysmal behavior: “Jesus wept.”

  39. points well taken, Ms Harris. if I can adjust my outlook to view the lights and music as bulwarks against the deadening despair I invariably feel as the sun sets in the winter, then I can both give myself permission to enjoy the premature festivities in my own way, and more importantly, allow others to enjoy the season as they too wish. Thank you.

  40. I went into a home decor store in mid October and they were fully stocked with Christmas items including dozens of lit Christmas trees. Christmas carols played on the speakers. I made a silent scream and turned right around and left the store.

  41. Anita Larson, Good for you. We should not patronize any store that starts celebrating Christmas before the Thanksgiving holiday. If we all stopped shopping before then, the stores would change their tune. Shoppers have the power to insist upon change.

  42. What choice do I have but to "deal with it"? I have heard the same tired Christmas songs over and over and over (times 53 years) again. All but the rare more recent song is the same exact one (or a cover) of songs I have heard thousands of times. Even if I liked some of them once, long ago, I reached the saturation point *decades* ago. I don't celebrate Christmas but I like the holiday lights, enjoy the holiday sales, don't complain about the day or two off from work, etc. No ill will towards the holiday and people's enjoyment. It's the everywhere all the time music I can no longer abide and the earlier the "Christmas season" starts the more I have to endure the never ending tired music everywhere I go other than my house.

  43. Let's just get one thing straight people: Planes, Trains and Automobiles is, contrary to the author's suggestion, a Thanksgiving movie, not a Christmas one. And, in my opinion, it is one of the greatest comedic movies, regardless of any dispute over its holiday allegiance. To borrow a line from Dell Griffith- it's the real article.

  44. You can never listen to the old Christmas songs too often. Bring it. Silver Bells and the Chestnut Song still thrills me at 63. No one has written a great Xmas song since 1965.

  45. It's the frantic, constant and ubiquitous barrage of commercialism starting after Halloween that is objectionable, not the holiday itself.

  46. Home for the Holidays is a fabulous Thanksgiving movie. Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr, Anne Bancroft AND Charles Durning. What more can you ask for? My family watches every year on Wednesday before Thanksgiving while the pies finish.

  47. For me the problem with all the early Christmas stuff is it is kind of a spoiler for the pleasure of seasonal experiences. I don’t make pumpkin pies year round - they begin in September and end after Thanksgiving . Blueberry pies will never appear after August. Christmas cookies December 15 to New Years. A great deal of the pleasure in holiday traditions of any kind, along with the old rhythms of seasonal food, has to do with their rarity and the way one anticipates the arrival of special days that come once a year for a limited time. The Messiah is a beautiful piece of music now so synonymous with Christmas it is jarring to hear it in September. Menorahs and Christmas lights wouldn’t shine as brightly if they appeared for six months of the year. I guess this is a time to use - IMO.

  48. Personally, I'm relieved to have the comforting and familiar Christmas music, predictable Hallmark movies and twinkling lights. If you're not ready for it, ignore it until you are. It does sometimes seem a little strange to be planning the Thanksgiving menu while listening to Whitney Houston belt out "Do You Hear What I Hear" or Alvin and the Chipmunks beg Santa not to be late. But it's preferable to a lot of other repetitive things I'm listening to this year. Oh, and to those looking for something new to watch: Bob's Burgers typically has an excellent Thanksgiving episode. It's on this Sunday night (11/24). Enjoy!

  49. This entire opinion piece is shallow. In the privacy of one's home, a person can celebrate Christmas as much as he or she likes. David Letterman once even had a Christmas special in July! The encroachment of Christmas back to Halloween, however, is sad and nefarious. For instant, struggling radio stations can play Christmas music that has fallen into the public domain as much as they like without paying royalties. As for retailers, the entire purpose of this change is to make more money. Christmas has lost almost all meaning. Hardly anyone thinks about the life and teaching of Christ or the value of appreciating getting together and looking out for one another. This rampant consumerism is a dead end. Christmas celebrations starting sometime in early to mid December makes the holiday so much more special. As for the trashing of Thanksgiving, the author should speak for herself. This type of holiday is celebrated around the world as the end of the harvest season. It is the holiday most often associated with a family get-together. It does not associate with any specific religion. For those of us who are not Christians (and certainly for most Christians), Thanksgiving has special meaning. For instance, as a non-Christian family from New England, we celebrated Thanksgiving as the one holiday that we cherished that was not associated with our own ethnic and religious background. The author seems to think that this holiday is unimportant because it isn't yet commercialized.

  50. Yesterday, I saw Christmas Trees for sale at Safeway. Whaaa? I felt sad for people whose lives are so out of whack with tradition. Tradition is important. Traditionally, Christmas comes after Thanksgiving. I ruminated as I perused the vegetable section. Has the clever retail industry just nearly doubled its season?

  51. Since we (the rest of the world) don't celebrate Thanksgiving day, we went from Halloween to Christmas season overnight. Happy Holidays everyone!!!

  52. The best Christmas season I ever had was the one where I was out of the country until Dec. 20. It was a real joy to see and hear all things Christmas as if they were new (no other country seems to do the endless Christmas like the U.S. does). Most years, though, even with the nice old songs, etc., I am thoroughly sick of the whole Christmas commercialization, media blitz, you name it, by Dec. 25. Starting in October, its kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, but with a Christmas theme...

  53. Sometimes, I listen to Christmas music in July or any time of year because it makes me feel better. To quote Auntie Mame: "we need a little Christmas right this very minute." We all can have as much or as little of the holidays as we want.

  54. @Valerie Elverton Dixon Yesterday I was at the Lexington Av./59th St. subway station, and a busker was playing just that christmas carol on a steel drum emblazoned with a Julliard sticker. Everybody’s got a hustle, I guess.

  55. Sadly, this trend reeks of desperation. Celebrating the December 25th holiday as early as November 1st, 55 days in advance, shows that some people are so starved for positive experiences that they will gladly skip weeks of their lives.

  56. @John Maybe some people are confident enough in their own lives that they don't need validation from obviously bitter people.

  57. I do not like Christmas creep. I think waiting until after Thanksgiving is perfectly acceptable. That's still a month of celebrating! Honestly, too, the abrupt change from Halloween to Christmas just seems jarring to me. And, finally, let's face it, the earlier and earlier start to the holiday season has more to do with commercialism than anything else, in my opinion. So, please do many many many of us a favor and celebrate to yourself until Black Friday (which by the way should stay on Friday).

  58. @Dan McDonold Or you could let people celebrate when they please and mind your own business.

  59. @M Nope, don't think so. That's a terrible idea.

  60. I’m disappointed that this piece neglects the hegemonic qualities of the “Christmas season.” While, for some (including, it seems, the author), Christmas movies, lights, and songs are antidotes to the dark and cold of the time of year, to others (myself included), they are inextricably linked with observance of a religious holiday. The earlier and earlier appearance of these “signifiers” - lights and decorations on houses and shops, holiday music in public spaces, and the like - only extends the period in which some of us non-Christians feel like outsiders in our own community.

  61. Guilty! My lights have been up for a week. This was the window when the installer could fit me in- before his big rush. I was going to wait until Thanksgiving week but realized that my KIDS would love to have the lights on for as long as possible. They were thrilled to come home from school and see our house was the first on the block with Christmas lights!

  62. @Exile In Neighborhood arms race. Who is going to be first next year? It probably won't be you, and the date will certainly be earlier than this year. How long until Christmas lights for Memorial Day in your neighborhood?

  63. @161 If I dont get around to taking mine down until May, do I win? I like the lights because it is dark and putting them up and down is kind of silly chore. I guess they are Christmas lights, but I like to think of them as a little color in what is otherwise the most grey and dreary time of the year.

  64. @Exile But where will kids ever learn about delayed gratification if this is how their parents act?

  65. This op-ed is hilarious. It completely ignores the fact Christmas is an exclusive, religious holiday not universally celebrated, that has been co-opted by capitalism to sell people stuff. There is no mention of the "reason for the season" beyond a personal need to be uplifted when the clocks turn back. Non-celebrants and purists alike have every right to grumble about an inflatable Santa hissing on their neighbor's front lawn from November 1st until whenever the heck the homeowner takes it down. Christmas music is a treat to some, for a couple of days, maybe a week in December. It becomes a form of torture for those forced to listen to it at work or whenever in public for months on end. Anyone wanting to curl up in their holiday themed pjs and binge-watch made-for-Hallmark holiday movies is welcome to, however, be prepared for the grinches to reclaim public spaces in the months and weeks leading up to Christmas.

  66. @Paula Stanley You make some good points Actually it was the Winter Solstice that was co-opted by Christianity. Dislike the expression "Jesus is the reason for the season". I do celebrate the first day of Winter and look forward for the days getting longer. I totally agree to have a nice week or two to see friends and family. The Big Christmas production and X-Mas music everywhere is torture!

  67. @Paula Stanley Amen.

  68. @Paula Stanley It is not exclusive. Anyone can celebrate.

  69. This is outrageous. I feel offended. Just because you guys don't celebrate Thanksgiving, doesn't mean you can ignore it's existence. Just like the many holidays celebrated in the last two months of the year, you expect us all to put aside our many traditions for just Christmas!!!!

  70. And please, for those who hate 'the holidays' and grow offended at simply being wished "Merry Christmas", please understand that it is being extended most times as merely a social pleasantry. No one is forcing you to read the bible or kneel at a creche. I say this, only because I cannot believe the number of people who refuse to return a 'Merry Christmas' greeting, or send out "holiday" cards that have nothing even to do with a) winter, much less b) the days on or about the 25th of December, or c) feelings of common goodwill, peace, love or brother/sisterhood. Why, one of the more typical of greetings I received in the mail last year was of a couple's summer trip to Paris. Boy, did they look divine in front of the Eiffel Tower! Nay, I want to wish all Times readers an early Merry Christmas...and Happy New Year. Honest, no offense intended.

  71. Any time someone tells me to "just deal with it" the first thing I do is flip them off. Even across the internet. Especially across the internet. The second thing I do is look for ways to actively subvert whatever it is they think I should just deal with. Christmas is such a farce. It long ago stopped having any meaningful connection to Christ. What it has been for decades now is a corporate consumerist holiday. This whole sick culture of people flocking to stores, fighting over Black Friday priced items, stressing over money to buy gifts for expectant children, etc... for what? To demonstrate love or generosity or gratitude? I do that every day, for the people in my life. If I see something I think they'll like, I'll purchase it and give it to them immediately. If I want to demonstrate my love, I use words and actions, not gifts. And I do it in the moment, not wait for someone else's pre-ordained time. If this sounds cynical, it's not. It's me observing the world with clear eyes and choosing another, healthier path.

  72. Personally I try to live in the moment and celebrate these events on or within a few days of the official calendar date, not months before. However, if how early others indulge in Christmas is your biggest beef I am guessing you have a pretty good life and may redirect some of that energy toward charity work for those less fortunate

  73. The problem of starting Christmas (which is mostly a reappropriation of pagan winter solstice rituatls) in November is that it's over by New Year's. The solstice is the shortest day / longest night of the year but it's just the start of the coldest season. The brightness and joy of Christmas should last us half way through winter, but instead the trees are piled in the trash by Jan 2.

  74. For most of the world's observant Christians, celebrations of Christmas before December 25 intrude on Advent, the period of preparation for Christmas that begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent commemorates the epoch of time before the birth of Christ and the prophecies of the coming of Christ, and it is a significant part of the liturgical year for Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and many other Christians The only visible sign of the approach of Christmas in many Christian homes during this period is the Advent wreath, which has four candles marking the four weeks of the Advent season. Historically, Advent has been a somber time of contemplation and even fasting, although most Christians now celebrate it more joyfully as a time of expectation of the approach of Christmas. Since one cannot easily undertake on Christmas Eve all of the preparations for Christmas, including gift-shopping, baking, and home decoration, even Christians who observe Advent tend to engage in some merry-making during the Advent season, while remaining mindful that, for the Church, Christmas is a liturgical season of twelve days that extends from December 25 until Epiphany on January 6.

  75. I don't remember exactly when in autumn it occurred, but years back I remember a Chicago theater marquis, indicating to my two-fold astonishment, Richard Chamberlain starring as Scrooge in a theater production of "A Christmas Carol." I'm just about certain it was well before Thanksgiving, else I would not have been so surprised. But it was a welcome announcement to me that the holiday season was starting. Now that I think about it: when does the Rockettes holiday show start? That might be the official beginning, except that it may be accounted for by tourist factors perhaps; likewise the Chicago production might be tenuously explained as a regular theater production, not necessarily a holiday event. Most of us get a warm feeling at the first signs the holiday season is kicking in; the first snow, or tinsely snowflake decorations on a commercial thoroughfare. Or the smell of a vendor's "roasting chestnuts." Indeed, my sweetest such experience may be about a decade ago, seeing just after the summer solstice, "Meet Me in St. Louis" for the first time. The film, at a local film society on a big screen," coincided with rounding the turn into summer, days starting to shorten. Reinforced by the film's theme of seasonal changes culminating in the warm-fuzzy schmaltz of Garland singing "Have Yourself...", the seasonal transition hit me with a promise of spiritual rebirth. I'm Jewish btw. Soon it would be Rosh Hashanah; and soon thereafter sleigh bells ringing, Chanukah menorahs.

  76. "LET THEM DO SO IN PEACE" I wish this were the case and these people "enjoyed" this stuff in the peace of their own home but it is not allowing me to enjoy my peace by constatnlty being assualted with santas and jingle bells for damn near over 2 months. it doesnt even stop after xmas. people drag it out to the middle of january. gimme a break

  77. I have a neighbor who puts up his Christmas decorations in September and takes them down in April. The woman across the street puts hers up the day after Halloween and leaves them up until the very end of January. At least his are just a lot of lights. Hers are those awful, huge inflatable things - over a dozen of them obliterating her entire front lawn. I keep the blinds closed a lot.

  78. Why wait til November? Why not make Christmas season like campaign season or California’s wildfire season: all year round? Leave frosty and the reindeer in the yard, and just add the jack o lanterns, Easter bunnies, shamrocks, or red white and blue bunting and flags to them when the time for those lesser, less commercially profitable holidays comes around. In fact, why should we even bother to have any other holidays, especially those non-Christian ones? They just get in the way of that Yuletide cheer.

  79. @James Also the perpetual shopping would really help the economy!

  80. I have no problem with Christmas decorations appearing in November. But before Halloween? Really?

  81. Nope. I will continue to put down the consumerist sheep who beginning celebrating "Christmas" before Thanksgiving.

  82. Fake News!!! At least in the Hell's Kitchen area "Christmas" began this year before Halloween with wreaths and lights up in restaurants, jolly santa and reindeer figures in CVS windows on 8th ave. and holiday muzak pumping out of the overhead speakers in the local supermarkets. So technically, consumer Christmas begins in October. "I'll retire to Bedlam" - Ebenezer Scrooge

  83. Oh, please. Christmas gets inflicted on all of us and there's no escaping. Celebrate all you want but I wish you would keep it to yourselves. Especially the dreadful music. And the awful ugly light displays that stay up for half the year. Not to mention the horrid commercial aspects. Yes, not all of the music is dreadful and I have seen attractive displays of Christmas lights (I've even occasaionally hit an after-Xmas sale) but they get lost in the excess. We celebrate when it is over.

  84. @NoBadTimes Tell it. World War II called--it wants its Christmas songs back.

  85. Ms. Harris is blissfully unaware. By late SEPTEMBER, the BJs wholesale club where I shop had a full selection of Christmas trees and other regalia on display. Feh! My local Staples had “Back to School” promotions before school was out in June. Does it occur to retailers, many of whom just revealed dismal quarterly results, that one reason why people shop online is Christmas fatigue?

  86. Festivus for the rest of us.

  87. Putting up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving makes the Baby Jesus cry. That's not okay.

  88. This rush to Christmas has made so cheap and worthless the Thanksgiving holiday that it is now a shopping day. In our rush to buy junk and get our Christmas on we force retail workers to leave their families to accomodate us. It is hateful and selfish behavior. There is absolutely harm in this behavior. If you tell retailers it is go time, they believe you.

  89. @Lauren Well said!

  90. Well, if you want a two-month blowout stuffed with conspicuous consumption and pagan rituals, I’m actually all for it. I just find it strange that anybody wants to call such a festival “Christmas.”

  91. I'm fine with a nice long Christmas season but prefer it actually be pushed back. The dead of winter (Jan/Feb) could use some spicing up anyways. No need to infringe on Turkey Day or Halloween.

  92. Forget November. It starts in October! And no, I will not accept it and you can’t make me.

  93. So Thanksgiving is not a cultural signifier because there's no way to monetize it?

  94. @Morag my thoughts exactly! I actually prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas and that is one of the reasons.

  95. Maybe Ms Harris can seek a position in the Trump administration. Seems her views would mesh with his. Not everyone in the US celebrates Christmas.

  96. Here we go again... Funny how it seems half the comments deplore that Xmas has lost its religious meaning and is too materialistic, and the other half deplore it as a religious holiday and therefore, non-inclusive... The truth is, it has spread and is now celebrated in its secular version all over the world, because it has lost its religious meaning and is now just a FUN holiday everyone can enjoy.

  97. When you say "deal with it" you sound like Mick Mulvaney. None of us has to buy into the overconsumption consumerism retailers and the Hallmark channel push on us. We can just walk by the huge Christmas displays in Target or Walmart and skip past the sappy Christmas movies on cable. Retailers can just wait until December to get our money.

  98. It would have been appropriate for Ms. Harris to at least acknowledge that many Americans are not Christian. She has a right to express her opinion about Christmas celebrations and when they are appropriate, but she could at least demonstrate understanding of the fact that many of us, and many more than in the past as our country has become more diverse, do not observe this holiday. I cringed when I read the phrase "Deal with it" in this context.

  99. My ex-husband and I (we're still friends) were talking--again--last week about how when we were kids some of the most anticipated and magical nights of the year were those when "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (seasick crocodile!) and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (even though in that one Santa was a jerk and Rudolph's father bordered on abusive) were shown--ONCE a year--on TV. It was usually around mid-December, I think. Then, for me, was the Christmas Eve drive with my mom from Manhattan up to my grandparents' reliably snow- and icicle-covered house in Connecticut (watching the sky along the way for The Sleigh among the freezing stars). And then the singing of carols by my grandparents' very "A Christmas Story" tree, the sleepless night, and miraculous Christmas morning. Now all that seems diluted, and it has nothing to do with my now being 58. If I wanted to, I could watch "Rudolph" in July. I think of Thanksgiving as a chore to get through before the Real Holiday, and I refuse to buy a tree before December 1st (even that seems early). Christmas carols (with the exception of when my son was a baby and my singing "Silent Night" in midsummer seemed to help him sleep) are okay after the 15th of the month or so, as are what used to be "Christmas specials"--emphasis on "special." There are ways to treat SAD and other forms of depression, but watering down what I still consider a magical FEW WEEKS of the year tends to just bum ME out. Call me selfish...

  100. I used to dislike the early “Christmas “ season. The last few years I’ve accepted it and taken on the lights and celebrations as my own private pagan holiday — as well as some comfort in a dark time.

  101. Not everyone celebrates Christmas and not everyone who does so wants to celebrate it for two solid months!!! The commercialism is off the charts and it gets more anxiety-producing every year. It is just plain too much so no, nice try, but I won’t be getting over it any time soon.

  102. The earlier the better, I say

  103. sorry Aisha ... by your logic we could start it in July and that would be ok ... remember "the 12 days of Christmas" ??? And that was too long ...

  104. *cough* Christian hegemony *cough* capitalism *cough*

  105. People are going to criticize it. Deal with it!

  106. I'm one of those who find early-onset Christmas to be annoying but easy enough to ignore, like a low-grade headache. That said, it is a curious and relatively recent affectation and I sometimes wonder why we do it. The rationales offered by Ms. Harris are unconvincing: it's always cold in winter and it always gets dark early. But that never induced us to start with the Holiday Season prior to Thanksgiving. We've simply been lured into earlier holiday season by retailers. And as with so much else, when has to do with spending money, we fall for it every time. Ho-ho-ho.

  107. November? Try October.

  108. Too much of a good thing can be waaaaaay too much. It's not "grinchy" to not want something made tiresome by overdoing it. If you need to get into Christmas a month ahead of schedule, maybe there are deeper personal issues that need addressing.

  109. Objectively, from a mental public health standpoint, the holidays are the worst time of year. Suicide spikes at Christmas time, as do hospital psychiatric admissions, and diagnoses of depression. I just saw an article in a medical journal discussing these facts (the article was not designed to determine why, but posited some ideas. Obviously it’s not just Seasonal Affective Disorder, since after all, this becomes evident earlier in the year.) So for many people, the creep of Christmas is deeply, seriously upsetting - possibly even life threatening. I’m sorry the author suffers from SAD, and glad Christmas helps them get through. But be assured, for other people with SAD, the holidays only make things worse. Hey, I think people ought to listen to whatever music they want, whenever. And decorate their houses however they please. Some years, MY neighbors have had Christmas decorations up in June! December to June, that is ;) But I don’t appreciate any of it from businesses, where it’s all mercenary anyway. I’m with other commenters on this one (forget Halloween- this year, I saw decorations for sale in September!!!) Anyway, have some sensitivity for others- just like you’d like to be left alone to celebrate early, respect other people who want - maybe need - to avoid it.

  110. What really toasts my chestnuts is this "Get over it" or "Deal with it" attitude. Why are we so bloody rude to each other these days?

  111. @Deaston ....wow! Do I ever agree with you. Those are two of the rudest, most in your face phrases I’ve ever heard. When I hear or read them, my mind shuts off to the speaker.

  112. I would agree except that my husband's Hallmark Channel Golden Girls reruns got usurped by those rom-coms. :/

  113. Honestly I could give a flip about the religious aspects of this. We are REALLY aren’t religious as a country. What drives me bonkers is that we as a society cannot continue to honor the one time of year dedicated to gratitude before we start our annual keg stand of consumerism. No one is thankful for anything or anyone anymore. And I’m not a boomer. Bottoms up.

  114. Why is Thanksgiving criticized for historical innaccuracy while Christmas gets a pass?

  115. @Spencer Shields , maybe colonization and genocide go deeper than a miscalculated birthday. :)

  116. People who display decorations in November have been brainwashed by the retailers. The twelve days of xmas have been turned into two months . Another thing: The "energy crisis" of the late seventies had companies curtail their light displays, notably 6th Ave. office towers. Since this was apparently forgotten, major displays have really not come back at these same places. Something to think about for next year.

  117. There is most definitely a Thanksgiving movie! It’s called Home For the Holidays and stars Holly Hunter, Charles Durning, Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey Jr. It’s a perfect depiction of our ambivalence about family relationships and traditions. I watch it every year, the night before Thanksgiving, while I bake my pies. And every year, I cry remembering my own holiday memories, both bitter and sweet.

  118. We do Christmas every leap year. It works well for us.

  119. Some of us do look forward to Halloween being over and "the season" beginning. Not because of the food, drink, music, presents and such, although all of that can be very nice. No, the end of Halloween means the arrival of snow, glorious snow, which means we can get back to what really matters: snowboarding and skiing!!!! Weehoooooooo!!!!!!

  120. Let us embrace our inner Mariah Carey in peace — all we want for Christmas is to enjoy the spirit how we want, for as long as we want. Embrace away Christmas lovers. Far away - from me.

  121. of course mariah carey celebrates starting nov 1. that one song she made is the only thing keeping her somewhat relevant.

  122. Does anyone seriously think that “Chridtmas Creep” is about enjoying the festive season? It is about consuming! Buy now, add to the landfill later. We are drowning in our trash. Merry Christmas.

  123. Don't mistake early Christmas celebrations for anything but thinly veiled materialism, Ms. Harris. It's always about the money. Everything is. Business' money grab is actually more transparent at Christmas, not less.

  124. @Kristin What a bunch of Scrooges. Bah humbug to you all. Me, I love Christmas. Decorating, cooking and entertaining AND gifts. All holidays if it comes to it. I don't get all the fuss. I admit to getting sick of the endless Christmas songs on the radio at work and in the stores but so what? For the most part people are more cheerful and that's always a good thing.

  125. @Kristin Early Christmas celebrations are in the eye of the beholder. For some it’s about materialism. For others, it’s not. I celebrated a secular Christmas growing up, involving family gatherings, feasts, games, sledding, creating and enjoying colorful and cheerful decorations, candy canes, twinkling lights, and yes, choosing gifts for the dear ones in my life. I love the season and it gets me through the first half of the dark season.

  126. @Kristin Not even thinly.

  127. The desire to celebrate Christmas as early as possible is indicative of a culture which has lost measure. Kind of like that Eddie Izzard joke about Americans wasting the word "awesome" to describe everyday things such as hot dogs. Christmas is supposed to be awesome, an exception, not the rule. Extending Christmas into November cheapens the holiday.

  128. @Odysseas Right on!

  129. Well said, almost Homeric!

  130. I grew up in Boston in the 1950s and we didn't put up our Christmas tree until Christmas Eve and then took it down in the middle of January. Christmas was less of a commercial venture and more of a religious holiday. I certainly received nice gifts from my parents but it was not about making presents the center of the day. Today some stores even start the celebration in September and this is way too early to even think about Christmas. We have not even celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving and stores have decorated their stores with Christmas displays. I have even seen a few stores putting up displays in July. The true meaning of Christmas has been lost over the years and this is so sad. It should be about celebrating the religious aspect and a side benefit should be receiving some gifts. We have made it too focused on gift giving and lost the spirit of Christmas. I wish we would return to the kinds of celebrations I enjoyed in my youth. I am not too optimistic though when it has become about the almighty dollar.

  131. @KMW One could argue that Christmas becoming less religious actually offers non-Christians the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks this season as well. Just some food for thought....

  132. @Conscientious Eater Thanksgiving's a secular time to celebrate and give thanks. And no obnoxious songs!

  133. @KMW I'm not a Christian and I am totally with you.

  134. first - nothing Marriah does is in any way. shape or form, something i pay attention to, ever... second, thanks to the glorious Christmas internet i can really shop at the last minute and get all my gifts delivered in time for Santa... celebrate all you want, celebrate as early as you want (Hobby Lobby, Ealmart and others are helping out with the ever changing when does the season start goal posts)... let every woman,man and child celebrate as they wish. merry christmas, happy holidays and seasons greetings to all

  135. Hobby Lobby and other arts and crafts stores have to put Christmas items out very early so the customers can buy the necessary supplies to create their Christmas artworks. The other stores that sell finished products are putting things out TOO early.

  136. @stephen rhymer no need to side-eye the Legend that is Mariah Carey.

  137. Same thing as baseball extending into November and hockey in June - the seasons are out of joint and traditions have lost their meaning because of money.

  138. Unto everything there is a season. Jamming the seasons together diminishes the significance of each to a blur, devaluing the meaning that each is supposed to hold. Forcing Christmas before Thanksgiving leads to where one can almost hear Santa speaking gruffly, "Outta my way, turkey! I've got to saturate the marketplace so people will be in a rush and spend more of their hard-earned money than ever before." It promotes stress, rampant consumerism and higher energy costs. All things we really need more of. Right. Keeping the holidays more in synch with the calendar teaches both appreciation and patience. As well as having something to look forward to, rather than having it blasted in your face weeks before it's even due. Thanksgiving does become that, a time to be thankful. Even stores being open on the day is a national travesty of over-consumption. Is it really necessary? At the rate we're going, expect Christmas to start after Labor Day in a few more years. After that, maybe even the 5th of July. at some point we'll all get so sick of it we just might yearn to go back to what we always had, an appointed time on the calendar to mark life s we journey through it. At a pace that will evoke the joy and wonder of each season. What a concept.

  139. It's been a dark year for me on multiple levels (health problems, national politics, etc), and I am more than ready to bask in some extended Christmas cheer to lift my spirits. I suspect many people just want some joy right now, and the holiday season can bring that for some of us. Happy holidays (and shop local!).

  140. When I was a child, the holiday season began for us at the very end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when Santa made his way down the street. I've never been there in person but have always eagerly anticipated its broadcast.

  141. Thank you for this article. There are many among us who enjoy Christmas, especially women. My husband can always be counted on as the Grinch to my personal holiday parade, so I appreciate knowing there are other likeminded souls out there.

  142. I now call the few months ahead(starting in August in some stores) of Christmas the Retail Festival. It is all about separating your money from your wallet. The brash commercialism of the season is off-putting. Being guilted into purchasing gifts for adults of stuff they more than likely do not need is annoying. Most adults buy what they want and need. I love the traditions and "Magic" of Christmas, but so much of the magic gets lost when it starts so early. Seeing kids brighten up with huge smiles is a joy and my favorite part. Let's start the festivities two to three weeks out. Or better yet, have a Winter Solstice party so everyone can join in.

  143. Instead of creeping into Thanksgiving, why can't we let Christmas creep into January instead? This way we extend the holiday season up until, say, the weekend of MLK day. For me, the real doldrums come after January 1, when all the holidays have passed, and there isn't much to look forward to in the New Year. And given that Little Christmas is celebrated on January 6, it makes sense to push the Christmas season into the following year, rather than usurp the time leading up to Thanksgiving.

  144. I want to hear and read Festivus celebrations - can Hallmark do a Festivus show!

  145. It is puzzling to me, as a member of the Jewish faith to understand the Christmas mania that descends on everyone right after Halloween. What I see are a lot of pagan customs: trees, Santa, pop songs, decorations and commercials for buying gifts such as car floor mats and cookware for the many people on the gift list. The secularization of Christmas has even infected some Jews, envious of the frivolity and celebrating. No mention of Jesus or the real meaning of the holiday. Why not donate a gift for someone’s favorite charity and skip the ugly sweater or tie? Food for thought.

  146. @Sharon Salzberg As your co-religionist, I would point out that St Nicholas was an early Christian bishop known for his aid to the poor. His saints day, in early December, became conflated with Christmas. The transformation to Santa Claus became final with CC Moore’s poem that begins “twas the night before Christmas “. He almost assuredly did not dress in red velvet jacket and trousers (in early Christian Greece)

  147. As for Thanksgiving: 1. Avalon is certainly a Thanksgiving movie of note; far superior to virtually all Christmas films. Barry Levinson was criticized for it, since it's generally thought that Jewish families have that sort of highly ritualized dinner and squabble at Passover. He said his family did it at Thanksgiving! Paul Krugman annually brings up Addams Family Values; a film which certainly touches on the points raised about the reality of the Plymouth Rock experience. 2. Traditional high school football rivalries. The oldest established one seems to be Phillipsburg New Jersey vs. Eatson Pennsylvania. 3. Alice's Restaurant! 4. Freedom From Want--which likely shares with American Gothic the title of most reproduced and parodied American painting (in the not depicting George Washington category)--doesn't show a Christmas Dinner. Since they both lived in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, I want to start the rumor that Freedom of Speech is Normal Rockwell's depiction of Arlo Guthrie defending himself from the littering charge (see item 3), which would mean two of the Four Freedom paintings could be Thanksgiving-related. I know Rockwell's work was done a generation before the great massacree, but let's start the ball rolling on this.

  148. @Charles Steindel I think "The Ice Storm" may be the very best Thanksgiving oriented movie. No movie better captures the mix of tension and festivity as kids are off from school, and all in their different ways are impelled to reflect on what they have and don't have, materially, spiritually, and in many cases, sexually as well. The movie suggests that in many ways Thanksgiving in an intensification of where you are and what you have in all these respects, when you take a step back from normal day-to-day routines and *feel* things rather more intensely, under the glow of family dinners and the various outings the long weekend promotes, or the lazy lounging with siblings in front of a TV, school being out. The Ice Storm (excellent novel, btw, Rick Moody!) is particularly appealing as an Ang Lee film, a great director appreciating a slice of American in a way perhaps only a great non-American artist can.

  149. The real change of seasons is when I switch from martinis to Manhattans.

  150. This is the joke that your religion becomes when you proselytize.

  151. The manufacturers and marketers have whipped Americans into this consumer frenzy under the guise of love and gift giving..some of us resent it; most of us don't. Cheap goods that will be forgotten by February 14th and/or obsolete and dropped into recycling and "charity" bins within a year or two.

  152. @Julie: I used to get small gifts from my staff on my birthday and at Christmas, no matter how often I tried to dissuade them. One night, after hauling this stuff home once again, I passed a retirement home. I stopped in and asked if they could use these gifts. They enthusiastically took it all, saying they could use them for bingo prizes for the residents. Win/win!

  153. celebrate Christmas as early as you like, but let's quit the myth that it's the middle or end of winter. It's the start. So quit tearing down the wonderful lights & holiday spirit as soon as the 25th turns into the 26th. Maybe those in southern climes find it easy to discard & press on to spring. But in the north, it's dark, dreary, & depressing. My tree goes up right after Thanksgiving. When it comes down is anyone's guess. At one house I lived in, the corner was dark & unneeded, it stayed up until 1 March. Its artificial, so no worries. I have winter decor that was handcrafted in Europe. I enjoy having them displayed. So maybe instead of beginning in August, as I have seen some do & everyone is tired of Christmas by the 25th, start later & extend it into the real doldrums of winter.

  154. I don’t get the whole being forced to feel a certain way at a certain time of year. It’s psychologically unhealthy and unrealistic. We’ve adopted this ridiculous Dickensian notion of Christmas that, at this point, mostly has to do with buying stuff.

  155. Deal with it. Like we've ever had a choice.

  156. Every year, we read articles recommending coping strategies for holiday stress. I find that starting Christmas season in November frees me to truly enjoy the season. By hanging my decorations during the slower period of mid-November, I check items off my holiday to-do list and actually look forward to all the holiday parties. Finishing Christmas shopping in November means more time to spend decorating Christmas cookies with my kids and less stress when I clean up the mess! This approach isn’t for everyone, and I understand the grumbling about encroachment. But the Christmas creep can be about more than consumerism.

  157. Actually it's the "buy more stuff you don't need" season that starts earlier all the time.

  158. No. We wait until Black Friday. We do need room for Thanksgiving.

  159. Not able to "Deal with it" as suggested. I prefer to embrace Thanksgiving as the peaceful holiday that it is, with family and friends sharing a meal. Later I will watch The Last Waltz and give thanks for The Band, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and the list goes on. No Christmas carols for me until Christmas Eve. Please, dear nation, let us rediscover civility soon. "Deal with it" is so rude. I am disappointed by this column's writer.

  160. Go one better. Christmas every day. But not plastic Santas and pop songs. Let's try generosity, kindness, and good will.

  161. When Christmas music is blaring down Myrtle ave and it’s even drowning out the top 40 on the grocers sound system and literally everyone is complaining about..... then we’re the ones being robbed of our peace. It’s gross and it’s time to take a stand.

  162. Don't stress In countries that don't have Thanksgiving nor Halloween, Christmas displays and advertising starts in October

  163. When stores like Lowes and Home Depot have their Christmas departments up BEFORE HALLOWEEN we know that this has gone way too far. Celebrate as you will in your own home but at least spare us the same endless Christmas song loop that plays in every retail store. It's enough to turn any of us former holiday enthusiasts into a Scrooge on steroids.

  164. "Christmas Season Starts in November. Deal With It." Don't tell me what to "deal with." I can figure it out on my own, thanks. "Christmas creep" has been pushed by commercial interests. Why do so many people let themselves be influenced—bamboozled, I'd say—by that. It's creepy. Think for yourselves, Americans!

  165. Aisha, are you Christian? Were you raised a Christian? I can only assume the answer is yes, because if it were no, you would've written a different article. I am not and have never been a Christian. My feelings about Christmas change year to year from annoyance to acceptance of the "holiday" cheer, but please please please keep it to December. Would you like to experience what it's like to have songs and movies and TV and shop windows and restaurant menus change, for upwards of 60 days per year, all in celebration of a holiday that isn't yours and you don't celebrate? My guess is no.

  166. "Christmas" is over reaching, could be fatal. Imagine December without Xmas. It's fun to think about.

  167. Lights go up a few days before Christmas, come down on January 1, and some years nothing goes up.

  168. For many of us Christmas in the United States has taken on qualities of the grotesque. In 1960's Southern California it was certainly beginning. Now it is full blown. It really can be a horrible holiday these days-the uber, kind of almost mean materialism that seems peculiarly American to the holiday. Places put up Christmas stuff BEFORE Halloween. It's morphed into mass consumption so much that 1970 looks like Currier and Ives compared to now. Sorry, it's kind of vile in some quarters.

  169. What about the retail vendors who embrace Christmas as soon as Labor Day and back to school sales are over? And I guess you've never heard Alice's Restaurant. Look, if people want to embrace the secularization/commercialization of the "Christmas" season, they should remember that Advent is actually a penitential season in the Christian calendar. Merry-making was done during the Twelve Days, when you had a real-end of year break. Call it Winter Celebration, but it ain't "Christmas". Now, get off my lawn.

  170. The war on Christmas is a defensive war. If Christmas has its way, it will be all year. Then, how special will it be?

  171. Thanksgiving doesn't require the pathetic commercialization that Christmas demands. No gifts, no awful songs, no overarching religious theme. That's what I find so beautiful about it. The author's dismissive tone regarding Thanksgiving, it's basically boring, is a sad statement; I feel sorry for her. Clearly she drank the Koolaid.

  172. While our over-inflated Christmas season bothers a lot of people, no one seems to have taken note of "Halloween Creep," a relatively recent development, which nearly drove me crazy this year. As recently as five years ago, Halloween was a one-day affair: kids in costumes, trick-or-treating, one and done. Now we are bombarded with Halloweenia as early as September 1st in a protracted display of all things grotesque and ugly: non-stop Halloween-themed programming, decorations, haunted houses, ghosts, goblins, spiders, witches, etc. Gimme a break! Let's make much more of Thanksgiving or, ok even Christmas, and much less of a dumb holiday like Halloween.

  173. Why is no one talking about the real tragedy: Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend left the stores early due to Christmas starting after Halloween?

  174. This opinion piece neglects to take into account the millions of us that had miserable Christmas's as children. To tell so many of us to "Get over it", is short sighted. My brother and I both suffer through Christmas, year after year. Christmas starting earlier each year just means we have to suffer that much longer. The sounds, the food, the parties, all of it a cutting reminder of a loss we can never regain. With the onslaught of Christmas music, each song is a grating reminder of the insanity and violence in our home over multiple holiday seasons. I come across so many people in the same boat. When we saw kids gleefully skipping out of school to the Christmas rush I could hardly breathe. My older brother would hold my hand as we grimly faced weeks of no respite at school, and instead faced yelling and arguing. There were no presents, there was instead deep sadness as the world around us seemed buoyed on a soft pillow of snow that passed our house by. I don't expect Christmas to disappear. I do ask that all of us be aware that this season can be awfully painful for some of our brothers and sisters that are around us. Many hide it the best they can, not wanting to spoil others good times. Be a little sensitive, look a little longer and deeper at those around you, and reach out if you see suffering. Even a little understanding will go a very long way. Thank you

  175. @JH , I am truly sorry that the childhoods of you and your brother were so painful, especially during the holidays when everyone else seemed so happy and excited. No children (or adults, for that matter) should have to live like that. I hope that you both can now find your own sources of joy and excitement, and that your pasts affect your present and future lives as little as possible. Love to both of you.

  176. Thank you for posting this. Boy, did it home.

  177. @NGB You are so very kind. Your compassion is exactly what I was writing about in my response to this article. And, my brother and I find immense joy in our lives. We have moved on in so many ways. It's just that Christmas is still a crappy time, too loaded to forget. Thank you for reaching out!

  178. I'll respectfully disagree, and you're more than welcome to tell me, "OK Boomer". I grew up when stores were still closed on Sundays. When people we're not upsold when making a purchase. When kids were given underwear and socks for Christmas. Thus I experienced less crass materialism and more genuine interaction in the course of a day. You don't have enough time to shop? Good. The kids will get less presents and value them more. Take Black Friday off and take the family to the zoo to see the polar bears. They'll enjoy that so much more than getting just what they wanted under the tree. Having trouble coping with the onset of winter? Go camping and appreciate nature in it's many forms. I was done with the American form of Christmas when the first person got trampled to death on Black Friday.

  179. I always enjoyed the tangerine in the toe of my stocking.

  180. Mine was a mealy orange and I loved it.