The Controversy: Celebrating the Holiday Season too Early

Autumn McClain , Assistant Opinion Editor

The weekend before Thanksgiving break, holiday trees were put up and decorated around the campus of Buena Vista University. Five large trees were assembled throughout the forum and decorated by student organizations. I had a short chat with campus chaplain Ken Messiner on Nov. 16 as he was hard at work putting up one of the trees. There was no indication that he felt it was too early to be decorating for the holidays; however, some students disagree. Shall we discuss?   

Morgan Krull, a BVU freshman, offered her opinion.  

“I don’t like decorating for the holidays before Thanksgiving. I like to enjoy the two [holidays] separately. Thanksgiving is pumpkin, and Christmas is peppermint. They don’t mix,” Krull explains. 

I personally put my holiday decorations up soon after Halloween. As soon as the decorations hit the shelves of Dollar Tree and Walmart I was ready to hang my stocking, and I know many others who did the same. Students like Morgan who prefer to wait on the holiday decorating seem to do so out of preservation. Some say that listening to Christmas music too early ruins any possibility for enjoyment when Christmas actually arrives: they get bored, annoyed, and tired of it.  

According to a study performed by the Journal of Environmental Psychology, those who celebrate the holidays early experience positive changes in mood as a result. Those who have Christmas decorations in their homes are found to be friendlier and more open, and researchers attributed “greater sociability to the non-sociable residents, citing appearance as the basis for their judgments.” According to Steve McKeown, a professional psychoanalyst, the action of decorating for a holiday releases endorphins—such as dopamine—that can boost mood and energy.   

Personally, I don’t see any issue with decorating early. I celebrate Christmas, and my family and I always like to put up our Christmas tree before thanksgiving. I never get bored or sick of Christmas music or decorations. Some people celebrate Christmas in July, so I don’t think a couple weeks early in November is going have as catastrophic of consequences as some seem to think. So, my conclusion is yes: everyone has their own opinion on whether it is appropriate to decorate in early November for Christmas. On the other hand, the trees are up in the forum, and that is not up for debate. Take that as you will.