Thanksgiving or Christmas: is it too early to be singing carols?

It’s finally the first day of November. Children exchange their post-trick-or-treating bounty with their classmates. Halloween candy is on sale at every store imaginable.  99.5 blasts holiday tunes like “All I Want For Christmas is You” and “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree,” and many are overcome with thoughts of baking Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate by the fire.

When I arrive at the store to buy discounted Halloween candy in early November, it’s clear that Christmas is on the way. The aisles that were recently stocked with Halloween candy, costumes and decorations are now filled with Christmas decorations, toys and even elves on the shelves.

For as long as I can remember, Christmas has always been advertised as soon as Halloween ends, and Thanksgiving is somewhat ignored until the day actually comes. I believe there are a few explanations for this. First, on Thanksgiving, families typically enjoy a huge feast and spend quality time together. People usually spend money on food for their big meal and not on decorations. This is why stores may not have any items to stock related to Thanksgiving. 

Secondly, Christmas is filled with activities. There’s so much to do: decorate the Christmas tree, decorate the house with lights and make sure to buy presents in advance so one doesn’t end up in hour-long lines at stores. In elementary school, all we really did around the time before Thanksgiving was color turkey feathers and eat turkey with gravy for lunch. For Christmas, we would color Christmas tree lights, drink hot chocolate and even sing Christmas carols. I don’t necessarily think that Christmas is seen as more important than Thanksgiving, but there are more things to do around Christmastime. 

Also, Thanksgiving isn’t a gift-giving holiday. On Halloween, candy is distributed all around, and on Christmas presents and hugs are exchanged, but there are typically no gifts or other treats that come with Thanksgiving.

Another major factor as to why Christmas is usually paid more attention is because, on Thanksgiving, a lot of people don’t even get to have the day off of work. Thanksgiving always falls on the third Thursday of November, and many companies don’t give their employees a day off just to cook a big meal. Also keep in mind that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, meaning that those who work in retail are mandated to stay in town over the holiday and prepare for the madness that comes with Black Friday shopping. 

Finally, Christmas comes with the famous figure of Santa Claus, who gives children presents and keeps their holiday spirit alive.

Christmas brings joy to everyone because of its presents, excitement and the opportunities it brings to spend time with family. Although Thanksgiving does come first, it is often left in the shadows of the more popular winter holiday.