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There seems to be a lot of controversy floating around the internet about when the Christmas Season “officially” starts. If you’ve been around for a while you’re well aware that our family loves this time of the year. More often than not we decorate for Christmas weeks before Thanksgiving… since we’re in the middle of Christmas decorating, I thought I’d share with you why our family chooses to decorate early.
For us, this time of the year is our favorite. It’s SO much more than the individual Holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. It’s the entire season…
Both sides of my extended family have lived at least 3 hours away since the time I was born. So, growing up we either traveled to see family or family came to see us. Usually, we alternated Holidays. If Thanksgiving was spent with my Mom’s family we’d travel to My Great-Grandparents’ house. Christmas was then spent with my Dad’s family. Often Grandma and Grandpa would come a day or so before Christmas. Spend Christmas Eve and Day with us and then leave the day after. And vise-versa.
Since my Great-Grandma passed away we have been able to spend nearly every Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mom’s family in Akron. Traveling either on Thanksgiving or the Friday after and having a big family dinner and making crafts. The first weekend in December became our annual Thanksmas celebration with Dad’s family who’d travel up from Tennessee. We have a big combined meal and open gifts. Then on Christmas Day we’d get up early, open gifts, and get ready to hop in the van and drive up to Akron. Meeting at my Aunt’s house, or Lazer Quest for our annual game of Lazer Tag. Then going back to my Aunt’s house and eating dinner. In recent years my Grandparents have rented a Town Hall. We’ll meet there, eat our Steak Dinner, visit, and do our annual Krazee Gift Exchange.
Seeing family is an integral part of the Holiday celebrations that we all look forward to.
In our family, this usually requires at least one party to travel. Since there is a lot of travel and preparation necessary it has become easier and less stressful to start decorating and planning at the beginning of November rather than squishing everything into 23 days!
As a result, for our immediate family, the time from September 12-January 2nd-ish is filled with just as many festive, tradtions as the individual holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For us, it’s all the little things added together that make this “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Watching as the temperatures get cooler, wearing the first sweater of the season, the first time I can wear a pair of boots. The first pumpkin spice creamer, the first pumpkin cookies baked, or fire in the fireplace. A bowl of soup, or opening the first jar of home-canned Apple Butter. Looking outside or going for a drive and noticing all the leaves starting to turn. Or that breezy day where all the leaves begin to fall and the ground is covered in layers of orange, yellow, red, and gold.
As November begins, it’s the first frost, or being able to see your breath outside first thing in the morning. Pulling all the Christmas music out of the attic, and listening to Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” for the first time.
The Daisy-chain to get all the Christmas boxes out of the attic and working together decorating the house.
Decorating has always been a family affair. Even when we were in public school we’d block off a weekend, blast the Christmas music, and decorate. It’s hearing the stories of what Christmas was like for Mom and Dad when they were younger. Seeing Dad’s old stocking, or listening to the record that Mom listened to as a kid when she and her sisters decorated.
Decorating has become just as much of a tradition as our steak dinner on Christmas Eve or Breakfast Casserole and Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas Morning!
We laugh together either because of each other’s antics, or the fact that we can NEVER remember exactly where the decorations were placed last year even though we have pictures! 🤷♀️🤦♀️
Once the decorating is done we spend the rest of the time savoring the season! Enjoying the long winter nights in front of the roaring fire with the oil lanterns, candles, and Christmas lights! Baking cookies, and banana bread, making cheeseball, and Chex mix. Watching Christmas movies and blasting Christmas music until January.
It doesn’t matter when you start listening to Christmas music or when you pull out all the decorations. What matters is that you spend this Christmas season (and every season) making memories with your family–in whatever ways work best for the current season of life you’re in. Enjoy this time right now, because it won’t be this way forever…