NROP: One blunder to avoid when following Christmas trends.

On my way to and from work, I like to listen to the radio. Yes, the commercials can be annoying, but I like the fact that I never know which song will come on. No, I do not hook up any external device and shuffle the playlist. Call me old school.

It seems to me that Christmas comes earlier every year. While I am used to hearing Christmas songs on the radio on December 1st, last year caught me by surprise. It was the day after Thanksgiving. The sky was dark and the traffic thick as always. Shortly after getting on the road, a Christmas song came on. In November. I was done with that radio station.

That was a reminder that Thanksgiving was dead and gone. Admittedly, whenever I remember, I go shopping for sweets the day after Halloween, because I know all the candy with ghosts and witches on it will be on sale. It is good chocolate! People might look at you funnily when you offer them Halloween candy on Valentine’s Day (Yes, I have done it.), but who cares? Why do we insist on starting the celebrations so early when the day after the Holidays, the decorations are being thrown out? It is heartbreaking to see the perfectly good Christmas trees in the alley by the dumpsters on December 26th.

During the time I spent in Europe, we would not put up out Christmas tree until the weekend before Christmas. Most people liked doing it on the morning of Christmas Eve (because of the celebratory dinner + presents that night), but we always found that day to already be busy and chaotic. Some of you might think that was sad because we did not have enough time to marvel at the tree. Quite the contrary – the tree would stay decorated until February 2nd. This always seemed a bit like an overkill to me, but that was the tradition. “Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated annually on February 2. It celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification (mainly in Catholic churches).” Some argue that the Christmas tree should be put away after the Feast of The Three Kings (January 6th). Ultimately, it is up to the tree owner. The trees in the Vatican stay decorated until February 2nd as per tradition. (If you know the story as to why February 2nd is when people traditionally got rid of Christmas trees, please let me know.)

This year, I am prepared and am listening to a different radio station that I know will not play Christmas songs until it is time. A tiny shelf at my local grocery store already features reindeer and other Christmas-y things. A family member told me that that someone in their neighborhood already has Christmas decorations in front of their home. Personally, I have seen lights outside of people’s houses, too. While I think it is too early and I would not do so myself, I would never dream of complaining to others about them putting up their decorations. Their lawn, their right.

Apparently, not everyone is as understanding as I am. One family in Texas was told to remove their Christmas decorations. When did they put them up? November 1st. Yikes. That is probably the earliest I have seen. Like I said – Christmas comes earlier and earlier with each year. Shortly after the family put up their decorations, they received a letter from the homeowners’ association (HOA), asking them to put them away. For those of you outside of the US, Wikipedia defines HOA: “In the United States, a homeowner association (…) is a private association often formed by a real estate developer (…). Typically the developer will transfer control of the association to the homeowners after selling a predetermined number of lots. Generally any person who wants to buy a residence within the area of a homeowners association must become a member, and therefore must obey the governing documents including Articles of Incorporation, CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) and By-Laws, which may limit the owner’s choices.”

What decorations did they put up? In front of their home, you could see a snowman, a helicopter with a reindeer as a pilot, Santa, a Christmas tree, Minnie and more. Their excuse for putting things up so early is the fact that the woman is pregnant and due on Christmas. They wanted to be done with the decorations in case the baby decided to come early. Would you care, though? If a baby comes early, then the baby comes early. There is no shame in not having your Christmas decorations up.

Like with anything else these days, a photo of the letter from HOA was posted on Facebook. Some neighbors decided to sympathize and put up their own decorations. (Did you roll your eyes?) In order to appease HOA, the couple added a few Thanksgiving decorations to the Christmas-y ones. I do not think that way the goal of the letter…

The article mentions a woman who puts up Christmas lights before Halloween (end of October) so that the kids can “find her house easily” when trick-o-treating.

Psychologists claim that Christmas decorations make you joyful and therefore should be put up as early as one wants. Sure, go for it. It is your life. But I will wait with my tree until later in December.

If it is all about Holiday cheer, why not keep the decorations all year long?

Why not keep it on AFTER the Holidays?

Do you celebrate your Birthday early? I do not. What if something happens and you actually do not make it to your real birth date? Celebrating after the date is normal, though.

How do you react to Christmas-y stuff that early in the year?

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

If you do not celebrate Christmas, do these decorations bother you?

If you do not celebrate Christmas, how early do you put up decorations for your Holidays?

Stay golden,

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58 thoughts on “NROP: One blunder to avoid when following Christmas trends.

Add yours

  1. Well, I think there are three aspects to Christmas:
    1. The commercial aspect, where the buildup to Christmas kicks into gear straight after Halloween, then continues for a few days until New Years Day.
    2. The festival aspect i.e. the ‘12 days of Christmas’, which I think means that decorations can be put up 12 days before Christmas and should be taken down 12 days after Christmas.
    3. The religious aspect i.e. the day Jesus was meant to have been born. In theory this is a single day to celebrate the birth of Christ. Usually in the form of a family get-together where people eat Turkey and stuffing and mince pies and pull crackers to celebrate.
    And overlaying all this is Santa Claus with his elves and reindeers and the giving and receiving of presents. And of course, the ubiquitous Christmas tree.
    It’’s a strange time of year with lots of intermingling Christian and pagan traditions, but when you take all these factors into consideration it all makes perfect sense… not!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Way to be reasonable in an unreasonable situation.

      I think it’s interesting how we are all slightly used to different things based on our upbringing and then when we become adults, we tweak things a little.

      To me, Christmas used to be the best time of year. It felt special. (Yes, I might have cared about presents more than the religious aspect.) Nowadays, it does not feel all that special because of how long this “celebration” lasts. They say we should not just be a certain way and celebrate someone once a year. That we should be nice to them all year round (Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Veterans’ Day, etc.), but the truth is that we cannot keep it up for more than a couple of days without diluting it all. Same goes for Christmas. Go ahead, celebrate it all year long. We shall see how fast it becomes “just another day.”

      Like

  2. None of it bothers me. Live and let live. I participated in the holiday bustle for years. The past 5 years I have not participated at all. I enjoy both sides. Do what brings you joy and allow others the same. I raised my little ones and jumped through all the holiday hoops 🙂 It’s kind of a right of passage as young parents. Now that I’m older I just smile and am thankful to be out of the chaos.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Seeing and hearing anything before December 1st turns my stomach. Makes time go way too fast and my anxiety go through the roof. Besides, by the time Christmas shows up I’m tired of it and believe it or not after boxing day, there’s’ not a Christmas movie or song in sight, it’s just NEXT!!!! Loses value IMO. Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Tell me about it. I don’t know what to get some of the little brats for their B-days because they already have it all. The problem with that is that they 1. demand everything and therefore will be disappointed in life, 2. do not know they value of money and hard work, 3. they do not value the items, often breaking it without a thought or feeling guilty.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I laughed, smiled, and started reading this.
    I love seeing christmas decorations up, I think they’re so pretty and cheerful, and they brighten up the place. It saddens me that a HOA (an, a, the?) would ask them to take it down, for I think let people celebrate as they will…. We don’t celebrate christmas. It’s a bit like happy birthday, so you give someone birthday balloons, should they throw away the balloons immediately? Surprisingly with jewish celebrations the stuff doesn’t usually stay long, like chanukah – same time as xmas – then the menoras and lights are there for each night, but wouldn’t stay there afterwards.
    I’m sad that someone would want to stop someone else celebrating. Reminds me of the song by someone or another, I’ll remember some point. They sing something about not growing up at 23. I like some of the lyrics. This guy who doesn’t like xmas and doesn’t want people to drive him crazy to celebrate and now they leave him alone. Remind me to remember (I know what I mean but words slip my mind all the time). Anyways, so what am I rambling about again? I think your keeping the tree up till Feb is cool. What do you do nowadays? You said your family kept it up. Who do you celebrate with? Do you decorate too?
    Love, light and extra sparkles and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d say “the”, but am not the expert.

      You’re right – people keep the balloons for a while, instead of throwing it away the next day like they do with Christmas trees. But you don’t give balloons a month ahead of time, either.

      There’s a couple of songs about not wanting to grow up. Do you mean Blink 182?

      My decorations are minimalistic. There’s a small tree, the nativity and maybe a train. If I pull out snowmen salt/ pepper shakers. That’s about it. I do it a few days before Christmas and keep it until after the New Years. Or until whenever I have time after the NY.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I meant Blink. Know which ones I mean? Well, I’m guessing you do if you told me who the band/singers or whatever that thing is called are. For some reason I’m finding it harder than usual this week to pull the words out of my head. I often don’t have the word I mean, but it’s a lot nowadays. Oh well.
        I’d keep it up for longer. Somehow when it comes to christmas the decorations are up early and down much sooner after – I mean if you look around the world. I wonder why that is.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I know the song.

          It’s alright. I know what you mean. It happens to all of us. I think your body might be readjusting to the weather/ season change. My brain definitely isn’t as spectacular in the winter as it is in the summertime.

          I agree. I blame it on the commercialization of everything. The stores need to make room for Valentine’s Day right after January 1st. Otherwise, people might forget to buy stuff if they see it a week before, in February.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I find the songs so early to be off-putting. By December rolls around, I’m fed up and not in the spirit. Maybe this year will be different. I’ve resigned myself to the guilty (albeit eye-rollingly clichéd as it is) indulgence of watching a bunch of Christmas movies. Perhaps the same will happen and I’ll be done with Christmas before December has a chance to roll around, but it’s better than doing nothing and avoiding TV, radio, and shopping in hopes to not come across anything related to Christmas until it’s closer to the actual holiday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. Once you hear the same song over and over again for the nth time, you are bound to change the station. And it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. (As I am replying to all these comments, I am starting to wonder if maybe that’s the whole point. There’s been an attach on Christmas (X-mas/ Holidays) for a while now. Maybe by diluting it, they are programming us to not pay attention to it and its substance… Hmm…)

      I think movies are much easier to dose. Hopefully you will be able to eat your cake and keep it, too.

      Like

  6. Good points. Traditionally, I’ve held back on Christmas decoration until December 12th because my son’s birthday is the 11th and I didn’t want him to feel overshadowed. This year, however, he’s twenty. I agree with a lot of the thoughts about Christmas too early but I’m down and I thought the decor would give me a lift. I’ve been adding a piece or two to the house every day since last week. I’m still not ready for carols, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How very thoughtful of you! I always felt bad for people whose B-days land on Christmas or NYE.

      It’s good to hear that the decorations have the potential to lift you up. By adding a couple of pieces at a time, you won’t be overwhelmed when it gets closer to Christmas.

      Why do you think carols are different than decorations?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it depends on the carols. They overplay some, and some are just so manipulative and determinedly gut-wrenching that they irritate. I could take a lot of instrumentals of the old standards. Love “Silent Night” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the only holiday where children are encouraged to dress up, go to total strangers’ houses, and ask for candy. ***even thought we were still taught not to talk to total strangers …unless we were in large groups (of like-minded children) ***

        Halloween is the only holiday where the timing is demanded by society.
        Yes, I said DEMANDED.
        Any other holiday can be done anytime –

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hit to reply to your comment and all of a sudden your comment went into my Trash folder. How? I think it was some of your witchy Halloween magic.

          Interesting note about the date.

          Can’t kids dress up as whatever they want and get candy without going outside on any other Holiday? Or maybe I was just spoiled.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve put outdoor decorations up early when there’s a warmish day, just so I don’t end up freezing if I try to do it in December. Nobody said we HAVE to turn on the lights then.
    I tend to leave decorations up for a while, simply because January can be so dreary, and there are no major holidays after New Year’s. (No, I do not consider Super Bowl a major holiday, and I think it’s been moved to February, anyway.)
    Our local paper in Port Huron had a discussion section on the editorial page, and people made such rude comments about the families who left their Christmas decorations up after New Year’s, and I always thought (1) it was none of their business, and (2) if they got that worked up about it, they were badly in need of a life. Finally, someone informed the critics that their son was deployed, and they had decided not to celebrate Christmas until he got back in March. God bless them. (So, NOW can we all mind our own business?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re the first person here to admit that they keep the decorations up longer. I’m happy to hear that. As far as the early decorations are concerned, you need to move to a warmer climate, then, so you CAN put it up anytime in December without freezing.

      I do enjoy watching SB, but some people go overboard with treating it like a national holiday.

      Maybe you should have written to the paper and explained how the Vatican handles Christmas decorations – i.e. keeps them out until February 2nd. But you are right – turning decorations that are pleasing to the eye into an issue is a bit much. A beautiful sentiment regarding the deployed son. However, I don’t think I would keep the decorations THAT long. I would just celebrate it indoors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not Catholic, so this is the first I heard about February 2. In America that’s Groundhog Day, and I’m sure there’s no connection. 😉
        When I was growing up there was a family in our area that had thousands of lights on and around their house, and when they were all lit, it made the place look like a gingerbread house. But usually they weren’t all on. Sometimes only a few were lit, other times more. Someone finally told me that a family member was seriously ill, and the degree to which the lights were on was the family’s way of letting the neighbors know how he was doing. I’m sure it helped alleviate the constant questions and wondering “Should I ask?” Then one night I drove by and saw that all the lights were off … 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I did groceries yesterday. Big old Santa was smiling back at me from the bottle of Coca Cola.
    Honestly, without the Christmas decorations, I’d almost forget that it’s that time of the year again.

    As I mentioned in one of my posts, I am enjoying the early Christmas decorations this year. Probably because I need some cheering up. So I am thankful for the lights and the songs.

    As for my own birthday…. The 8th of July might as well not exist. The only happy thing about that day is that I am 1 year closer to pension 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh I know what you mean when say festivals coming earlier every year. People do decorate their homes about a month before Diwali (which is celebrated in October or November) is here. Children are so excited to burst crackers (even after all the pollution) about 10-15 days in advance.
    While most of them remove all the decor after Bhaidooj which is celebrated 2 days after Diwali, hardly a few of them keep it for another week after that. I have seen one or two houses being lighted up with decor till Christmas and New Year.

    At my place, we put the decor a day before Diwali and get it removed a day after Bhaidooj.

    As for birthday celebrations, with family they have always been on the day itself. With friends, it depends on everyone’s availability. Either earlier or later, whichever is closer to the birthday and most suitable to all of us.

    But it all of this doesn’t bother me a lot. I don’t give much thought to how people want to celebrate. I think festivals and birthdays and other occasions just ‘bind’ us socially to keep our relationships alive. This binding is usually welcome on my side but it can be forced sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. So it’s not just the Western world that goes overboard with early decorations. Why do you think that is?

      I absolutely hate it when people blow fireworks a month after New Year’s.

      Yes, I agree that B-days are to be celebrated on that day, but like you said – not everyone can make it then. So I do it after (if at all). My neighbor once mentioned the possibility of one not making it to their actual birthday and it stuck with me.

      I like the way you think in regards to Holidays binding us. Yes, it can be annoying sometimes, but it can also be truly spectacular. Unfortunately, the craze makes me think that we are drifting further away from it, lost in the madness around us, caring about the things that don’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really don’t know what’s up with early decorations. Just like you said if you start to celebrate early, why remove it a day later.

        Yes, holidays become annoying when we arent celebrating the moments, and instead doing a show off.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I think we tend to worry too much about what others are doing in the holiday season. If putting up decorations early makes someone happy, I have no issue with it! I like the anticipation of knowing the season is coming. In our home we put up decorations on December 1st. We have a live Christmas tree in a pot. It stays inside throughout January- mostly because the weather is too hot! (I live in Australia so no white Christmas here!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your tradition. It seems reasonable AND pleasant. Ah, yes, Christmas is in the summer time for you guys. That must be quite interesting. For most of my life I have been freezing/ seeing snow on Christmas. This year is the first one when I won’t. Unless something unexpected happens. It’s insane to think of all the Aussies celebrating Christmas in their pools. But I love the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yes, it’s not Christmas unless the BBQ has some prawns on and the air conditioner is cranking. Add in a little backyard cricket and it’s the true Aussie Christmas Day experience 😂 mind you, we still have Christmas carols like ‘white Christmas’ warbling in the background while this is all going on.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. For sure! I visited the highlands of Scotland a few years ago and absolutely loved it. The warmer weather in Australia is lovely, I don’t like being too cold so I’d probably enjoy it for a year or two then come back! 😂 would you ever want to experience a hot summer?

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Ah, gotcha. This year, for the first time in my life, I will be experiencing not freezing Christmas, so that’s a step in the right direction. I think a hot Christmas would be awesome. Although, I probably would imagine some snow. I wish it could be warm and snow at the same time. It would make for a magical Holidays.

                Liked by 1 person

  11. We always brought our trees down by the 6th January (and still do). We have an HOA and I am glad because Christmas decorations in November would bring out my Grinch… I don’t mind time appropriate decorations – 4th July, Halloween etc. They have to be tasteful too or I will be even Grinchier!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why January 6th? Why not the 5th or the 7th?
      I walked into a store the other day and saw a Christmas tree and all the other decorations. Mind you, this is not a store in which you buy anything related to the Holidays. No idea why they did this.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I am aware of this. That’s why I’m surprised you do it “by” January 6th. I feel like it’s still part of Christmas. The magi went to see Jesus and offer their gifts. I’d think that means the tree should stay until AFTER the 6th.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. I was raised by my grandparents. Grandma always had the tree and decorations up by mid December. Her birthday was December 13th so it was usually the weekend after. On New Years day everything came down. I remember the tree was always taken down to the railroad tracks and placed in a burning barrel. With one light of a match it was flame city. Funny, we never thought of the dangers of having a dried out fire hazard tree in the house back then.

    Fast forward to our time. My wife and kids keep the tradition alive. Usually mid December and down by January 1st, give or take.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Growing up used to really like Christmas and made sure put up decorations and bugged my parents to find a “tree” how else would Santa find us and I was worried that our house didn’t have chimney how would he get in I was tempted to leave the front door unlocked good thing my brother had better sense and locked the door 😂😂

    I know it’s Christmas time when department stores start playing Christmas jingles all the aisles lol

    This year am going a sort of 25 days of Christmas theme blog everyday challenge from the first of December as a festive spirit ode

    December is fair enough to start right?

    ~B

    1 November is way too early to start though but hey it’s their house their life, one year I remember a shop that didn’t remove its Christmas decor and left it there all year round lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re too funny with the unlocked door. I had no idea you celebrated Christmas. What’s the most prominent religion in Zimland?

      Yes, December is most definitely alright. Good luck with your blogging. Every year I see people put a spin on it, and maybe one year I will, too.

      All year round? Wow. Someone was lazier than me!

      Like

      1. Zimbabwe is a predominantly Christian state, a result of the early missionaries intertwined with our colonial history.

        Haha laziest of all is not putting up decorations so you won’t have to remove them

        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

      1. We do put up a tree. A few years ago we started cutting our own from our farm. We usually put it up a couple of weeks before Christmas and take it down within a week after. We don’t have set dates but since a live tree tends to dry out quickly (even if kept watered) we don’t keep them up too long.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. As much as I love the Christmas spirit and the joyful and warm days that come with them Holidays, I still think that anyone who already puts up their decorations and songs and all the day after Haloween is way too intense! I won’t stop them from doing so but I always associate those things with snow and living in a place where snow is everyone’s nightmare to some extent, I do prefer not thinking about snow until it actually shows up one morning! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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