Can Christmas Season Start After Halloween?
I still remember the sudden shock I experienced when I was maybe seven or eight years old, when I went up the escalator at Kohl’s in late September, at the Golf Mill Mall in Chicago, and saw the Christmas stuff.
I had celebrated Christmas every year of my life since its beginning, but I was still getting accustomed to the fact that it wasn’t just a fun holiday, it was a massive industry which ground into motion long before it had any right to.
Turning the corner coming off of the escalator, it was like I had stepped from a world of affor dable shoes, washing machines, and memory foam pillows into a yuletide phantasmagoria, where a cute toy steam train forever wound its way around snowcapped mountains toward Santa’s workshop, which was signified by a giant pile of toys, some of which harked back to the toys a child might receive in the Victorian era, and others which were on the cutting edge of what kids were interested in during the middle aughts. The air smelled like pine needles and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” blared in years.
In those days, early expressions of Yuletide spirit like that were anathema. Christmas music was played after Thanksgiving and before Dec. 26, and not a day before or after.
I would stick religiously to that code, more so than I did the actual religion I followed which revolved partially around Christmas. There were times, however, like the day before Thanksgiving one year, or a few days after the 25th during another, when Christmas music would come on and the atmosphere was festive enough, that I let my guard down.
These slivers of good cheer and warmth amid the cold strictures of winter expressed a deeper desire in me to keep those feelings alive for longer.
While Christmas and other winter holidays have a certain series of cultural images and experiences that are a part of their appeal, the deeper feeling under these holidays is a yearning to be together, to share some love and compassion, and the primal human need to keep away the cold, to reject the fatalism that winter weather can bring on.
Therefore, I believe that the holiday season should be extended as long as people want it to. It’s annoying to some, I know.
The holidays, for a lot of people, mean interactions with disliked family members, and pop-culture preaching messages of peace and brotherhood
while trying to make huge profits on geegaws, with the most striking example being the staunchly anti- capitalist Charlie Brown Christmas being shown every year in between sentimental Coke ads.
Most people in the world, however, communicate with the greater ideals and feelings behind their lives through representations. Positive ideals may be perverted to sell consumer goods, but they are still at their core good ideas to live by. Perhaps, if immersed in the representations for longer, and separated from their commercial meaning, the messages of these works will stick, and a more compassionate, unified human community will emerge.