By Riley Dauber
You have meticulously picked out the perfect Halloween costume, ordering each item months in advance and planning when you will wear it. You and your friends are partying and eating candy, celebrating the spookiest holiday of the year. Suddenly, Mariah Carey’s iconic song “All I Want For Christmas Is You” starts blasting through the speakers, marking the unofficial end of Halloween before the day is even over.
When certain holiday celebrations should begin has become a popular argument over the years. The transition between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is often muddled, with some individuals celebrating one holiday before the other has even occurred.
Although Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are one day each year, everyone who celebrates these holidays knows that the celebration is not specific to just one day. There are costumes to plan, meals to prep, and presents to wrap.
Decorations are another key element, with many decorating their houses or rooms weeks before a given holiday.
“People will have decorations out for like a season. As far as a season would go, starting in December is when you can have stuff out, but I feel like it’s okay to start celebrating after Thanksgiving,” freshman Seth Horan said.
Other activities that occur before the holidays include parades and celebrations. According to the Victorville Daily Press, “While Halloween candy continues to be consumed, High Desert municipalities are preparing for Christmas parades, tree-lighting ceremonies, and celebrations.”
However, rushing right towards Christmas tends to cause unneeded stress and tosses the other holidays to the wayside. It also feels strange to celebrate Christmas when the leaves are changing colors and temperatures peak in the 70s.
Part of the discussion around holiday start times revolves around Christmas music and when it is appropriate to start listening to the holiday tunes. Many argue that listening to Christmas music before Halloween is a sin, while others will start playing it as early as September.
The start time is, of course, subjective.
“I think it’s okay to listen to Christmas music, but actually celebrate [Christmas] after Thanksgiving,” sophomore Sarah Coverdale said.
However, the earlier an individual starts, the more likely one will grow tired of listening to the same ten songs or covers over and over again. It does not help that most stores begin playing Christmas music once November begins, which means two months of repetitive holiday music.
To best celebrate the holidays, start playing Christmas music right after Thanksgiving to guarantee freshness. Also, it is best to switch it up. Most artists have covered the same popular songs, but add some variety to this year’s holiday playlist to avoid the same tired covers.
Another key element of the debate is that Thanksgiving is often forgotten during the Christmas rush. Despite the holiday’s controversial history, it is also a lowkey holiday where families can spend time together and prepare a plentiful meal.
There is much less chaos when it comes to Thanksgiving due to the fact that one does not need to shop for presents. Shopping is usually a Black Friday staple, and since it is the day right after Thanksgiving, the holiday is usually forgotten and hidden in a layer of Christmas cheer.
For junior Justin Ly, Black Friday is the official start of the Christmas season.
“Christmas should begin to be celebrated no earlier than Black Friday. I believe that we need to get through Thanksgiving before we can begin to even think about Christmas. Due to it being in between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is often overlooked, and people will begin playing Christmas music and decorating on Nov. 1. I feel as though Black Friday is an okay time to begin celebrating because it is after Thanksgiving and marks the day where we really start buying gifts and planning for Christmas,” Ly said.
Other Washington College students agree, with many wanting to keep the three holidays separate so Thanksgiving is not forgotten.
“I think we need to give Thanksgiving its due. Just let November come, and when the end of the month comes, you can put your Christmas tree up and listen to Christmas music,” sophomore Brionna Odell said.
The stress of Black Friday and the looming holiday may cause many to either plan ahead or want to avoid the stress of the holiday season altogether. Keeping the holidays separate and dedicating specific times to celebrate each holiday helps avoid these stressful moments.
“Thanksgiving gets forgotten so much. We just need to give it that time,” Coverdale said.
Each holiday – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas – should be kept separate. Celebrating the holidays in the right order, without any overlap, gives everyone plenty of time to enjoy each holiday for all its worth.
Photo by Miranda Parrish
Photo Caption: Many stores around Chestertown, Md. have already started decorating for the holiday season, including the local Dollar General.