It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and it has been since September. Walmart’s holiday festivities began before any sane person was even thinking of Halloween, and lately, all we hear is griping about that one house on the corner of Main and Cedar that’s been gleaming with blinding yuletide gaiety since Labor Day weekend. As the countdown on the advent calendar shrinks, extravagant Christmas decor invades our lives like an infectious disease, and once again, the old cliche debates begin. We can’t even enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. How could we when we can’t see it over the volume of the arguing? Why does it matter what holiday we celebrate, or even when we choose to do so? Christmas is Christmas. Why can’t it just be that simple?
There are as many determined “appropriate times” to decorate for Christmas as there are flavors of holiday Oreos, but I’ve got a better answer: who cares? Seriously, why do we care when other people decide to decorate? How many of us can honestly say we don’t smile at the idea of Christmas, even if it is mid-August? It’s really simple; Christmas makes people happy. That’s it. People smile when those lights and inflatable snowmen begin to take over our lawns when those green plastic imposters we call trees shine in our living rooms when we impale and abuse sheets of sugary dough into what shapes we somehow think resemble people. So tell me, what’s really so bad about prolonging the holiday season just a little longer? What’s really so bad about spreading the smiles just a little further? From where I’m standing, it's all looking pretty good.
We could talk all day about other religions, other holidays that Christmas completely overshadows. There’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Los Pasados, Diwali, Chinese New Year, the list goes on. Several of these holidays boast contrary religious associations to Christmas, and that’s where the offense comes in. “Merry Christmas” is a phrase of well-wishing, but anymore it’s like contraband. We can’t just go around tossing it about no matter how honest our intentions. How sad is that? Honestly, when else do we actually go around wishing each other happiness, of all things? For two weeks to two months of the year, we can’t even enjoy that.
Christmas is joy. It’s togetherness and giving. Sure, Christmas is also receiving, but isn’t that the most beautiful part of the whole holiday? We have the potential to make someone’s whole day with as little as two words, or even saying nothing at all and letting our decorative spirit do the talking, yet all we seem to know how to do is fight about it. When does it end?