At 27 weeks pregnant, I was looking down the barrel of the third trimester. So, when midnight struck on November 1st, I knew it was now or never to get my Christmas decorating done.
I made at least a dozen trips up and down the basement steps hauling totes. When the house was finally finished, I was dead on my feet. I was glad I’d gotten it done before the third trimester struck and made things that much harder for me.
It was November 1st and my house was a winter wonderland.
To speak my truth, I probably would have decorated this early whether I was pregnant or not. Last year, my tree was up on the 4th. As a single mother, I only spend half my time with my kids. I wouldn’t dare put up decorations without them, so I have to be strategic about when I decorate. It makes it even harder that our winter weekends are congested with basketball tournaments. I have to choose my weekends very carefully. But all of these are just excuses.
In reality, I love Christmas.
I love it with every fiber of my being. The cold and snow. Wrapping gifts and the lights. The music and the movies. And the tree. Most of all the tree. When it snowed before Halloween this year, I struggled (in vain) not to crank up the Pentatonix holiday tunes and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa.
My mother grumbles every year she finds out I’m decorating before Thanksgiving. “What happened to celebrating one holiday at a time?” she always asks. My arguments are many, but I see her point. When I was younger, we never decorated for Christmas before carving the turkey. We were sequential in our holiday observations.
I tried with little success to uphold the same traditions from my childhood as an adult. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized there wasn’t anything stopping me from decorating as early as I wanted.
The moral of the story is, if it makes me happy there shouldn’t be anything stopping me from doing it.
And decorating for Christmas as early as I want definitely falls into that category.
There’s something visceral about it. Opening up the totes from last year. The smell of pine and cinnamon. Transforming my home from the ordinary to the magical one wall at a time. It just brings a smile to my face and a toasty, fireside warmth to my soul.
The best part of all of this is I get to experience this joy right alongside my children. With each passing year, I see their love for Christmas grow. It turns a simple tradition, a holiday, into a shared admiration. As we pulled out all the decorations, my kids reminisced.
“Oh, I remember this!”
“This one is my favorite.”
“Look at how cute this is!”
Not to throw scientific mumbo-jumbo into the mix, but experts have said that decorating early for Christmas makes people happier. It certainly works for me. (Psst, read more about it here).
If I waited to decorate my home for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, I’d only get it for one month. One month! I’d only get to enjoy my tree and my decorations, and the general spirit of the holiday for a tiny fraction of the year. That doesn’t seem right!
Why should I torture myself to hold off decorating when I’m bursting at the seams with excitement? Why do early decorators get accused of snuffing out one holiday over another? Can’t we all be equal-opportunity holiday goers?
I fully intend on participating in Thanksgiving. Did I mention I’m pregnant? Even though my Pandora has been set to Christmas Classics for a few days now, I’ve still been daydreaming about green bean casserole. I fully intend on enveloping myself in Thanksgiving by the light of my Christmas tree. There’s no shame in it.
For those of you holding off on putting up decorations because of some outdated and judgmental societal standards, break free. End the wait. Haul out those wreaths and garlands and nativity scenes. Light up that gingerbread candle and pop in your favorite Christmas movie.
Happy decorating, no matter what the calendar says, and Merry Christmas!
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