The Alestle Asks: When is it acceptable to begin celebrating Christmas?

With Christmas decorations making their way into stores earlier and earlier every year, SIUE students are left to ponder the right time to start decking the halls and cranking up “Jingle Bells.”

Junior graphic design and mass communications major Praither Williams, of East St. Louis, Illinois, said he has personally noticed the earlier start time for Christmas music while working at TJ Maxx, and this further solidified his belief that Christmas celebrations should not begin before Thanksgiving.

“I work retail, so we start putting out Christmas stuff in like October, but that kind of runs over Halloween and Thanksgiving,” Williams said. “Thanksgiving gets the butt of it the most. Christmas takes over and people stop worrying about family, eating and cooking and more about Black Friday … it’s horrible.”

Williams is not alone in his views. Roughly 63 percent of sampled students believe Christmas activities, such as hanging stockings and listening to seasonal music, should be held off until after Thanksgiving dinner.

For senior mathematics major Andre Hood, of Orland Hills, Illinois, celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving could turn into celebrations being moved up more every year, taking away some Christmas joy.

“People would just start celebrating it earlier and earlier and then there would really be no point to the holiday season, because you [will] have people who literally start [celebrating] on Christmas in July,” Hood said. “I think that would be the norm and it wouldn’t be fun anymore.”

First year pharmacy student Ben Eigenbrodt, of Edwardsville, is a big-time Christmas fan who doesn’t wait to light it up.

“I think after Halloween is good because you have to get that out of the way, but any time after that is good,” Eigenbrodt said. “You gotta get in the spirit as quick as possible then maybe take a little break for Thanksgiving, maybe that week just not listen to Christmas music, and then get back into [the Christmas spirit].”

Junior business major Brandon Sneeden, of Buffalo, Illinois, said any time after Halloween is fair game to celebrate the winter holiday, as he feels Christmas and Thanksgiving are similar.

“I would say it’s acceptable after Halloween,” Sneeden said. “I feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas kind of mix together in a certain way, they’re kind of linked, so I feel like after Halloween is when we start getting towards the holiday season.”

However, Sneeden said he personally waits until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas.

Freshman computer science major Max Ludwig, of St. Louis, also sees similarities between the seemingly back-to-back holidays, however, he believes separate time should be reserved for each.

“I think [Thanksgiving and Christmas] are similar in ways that they all revolve around family and spending time with loved ones, but I also think they need to be kept separate because Christmas is giving and receiving things and spending time [together], but Thanksgiving is all about company and being in each other’s presence,” Ludwig said.

For others, the answer is not so clear cut. Freshman biology major Kerstyn Deichmann, of Pocahontas, Illinois, said while she listens to Christmas music all year, she waits until after Thanksgiving to partake in other Christmas celebrations.

Even though the majority of SIUE students said visions of sugar plums don’t dance in their heads until after Thanksgiving, it’s clear there is still heavy debate regarding the optimal time to start Christmas festivities. 

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