OPINION: The ‘Christmas in November’ Debate


Hailey Stessman

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little bit of holiday cheer in November. Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway

I used to be annoyed with my mom when she would play Christmas music in July. It was strange to wake up to “Let it Snow” echoing throughout my house when it was over 90 degrees and humid outside.

“But Hailey, it’s Christmas-in-July!” would be her gleeful response as she took out the ingredients for a small batch of cookies.

While I have never fully engaged in the discourse regarding whether it’s acceptable to begin celebrating Christmas on Nov. 1, I guess I would have placed myself in the category of people who prefer to wait until December. I always felt as though I needed to recover from a month’s worth of horror and scares from October before delving into sugar plums and candy canes. Additionally, I wanted to savor the last moments of autumn in anticipation of the blizzards and bitter cold.

However, I have noticed that the magic and excitement surrounding the holiday season has diminished as I have grown. Rather than the gradual festive peaks and valleys that separated Thanksgiving and Christmas, two holidays my family celebrates, everything was blurring together.

Perhaps it was simply a stage of growing up, or perhaps it was a personal internal conflict. No matter the reason, this loss of excitement surrounding the holiday season has caused me to switch sides in the Christmas-in-November debate. I thought that instead of waiting to celebrate until the day of the holiday and waste all of my energy in one day, the switch to celebrating throughout the two months would allow me to relax into the holiday season rather than stressing out about it.

Yes, I indeed enjoy starting the holiday season once Halloween ends that very night. You can call me crazy or annoying, but I have realized how much it helps me get through some of the most stressful times of the semester. You may be thinking, “If the excitement of the holiday season has disappeared, why start celebrating in November?”

The switch to celebrating the holiday at the beginning of November has allowed me enough time to truly appreciate and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season. Prior to this switch, I simply followed the crowd and reserved my Christmas cheer for December. But with the stress of finals and the sudden shift in weather, the whole month blurs together. One second it’s Dec. 1, and the next we’re counting down on New Year’s Eve.

I find that incorporating small holiday pleasures throughout November has helped me slow down and be grateful for all that I have in the present moment.

Need a break from studying for finals? Warm up a cup of hot chocolate with a side of Christmas cookies. Want to experience a comforting wave of nostalgia? Pop in a classic Christmas movie that brings you joy. It makes everything a little more bearable.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to have some holiday cheer in November. What harm does it bring? While I do agree that some Christmas music can become extremely repetitive, the integration of small holiday delights throughout November makes the dark days of winter enjoyable.

So if you are like me and start celebrating Christmas in November, commence the holiday festivities shamelessly. Don’t let the judgements of other people put a wrench in your holiday cheer. If you want to turn your room or apartment into a winter wonderland, go for it. You have every right to be happy during these final months of 2020.