When Does Christmas Officially Start?

 This is the big discussion in my dorm currently. 🙂 It comes up every year without fail. “When is it appropriate to put up Christmas decorations?” My girls have differing opinions on this and, boy, can they get passionate!!

There seem to be three camps on this issue. 1) You can celebrate and enjoy Christmas year round. There is never a wrong time to listen to Christmas music. 2) November 1st is the proper day to start celebrating Christmas. 3) Thanksgiving is an important holiday and must be celebrated first. Thus Christmas decorations can only go up after Thanksgiving.

Personally, I reside in camp #3. I LOVE Thanksgiving. It hasn’t always been my favorite, but has been for the last several years. I’m not sure what exactly makes it my favorite. I just know that I love the time with my family, the time at home, the amazing food, and of course football. 🙂 My Dad would always take us Christmas tree hunting the day after Thanksgiving. Contrary to popular thought, picking out a Christmas tree at a farm is an art that is passed down generation to generation. I think I like the traditions of Thanksgiving, the memories associated with it, and being able to slow down and purposely take the time to remember the many ways God blesses us.

Even though I won’t be putting up any decorations or listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, I am looking forward to both. Part of the excitement this year, is that since my building is new, my staff and I can create new traditions for the residents. We are planning to have a caroling night around the donated piano in our lobby. Who doesn’t want to get together right before finals, sing carols, drink hot cider or hot chocolate, eat sugar cookies, praise Jesus, and fellowship with a great community? New traditions, when done well, can be just as fun as old ones!

Regardless of which camp you fall into, I pray that you enjoy this Thanksgiving and Christmas filled with much family time and many traditions (new and old). May you experience the Joy and Thanksgiving of Jesus and His birth.

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