Saturday, November 10, 2018

Blogger: Premature Christmas Decorating

Whichever side you take in this debate, I invite you to read my take on how I deal with this every year. I am sure that you have an opinion, and I also know that most people believe that they have the right answer... my argument is simply that feelings cannot be decided by a date in a calendar, and you'll see what I mean in a second.

I live in Hungary, which means that we do not have Thanksgiving, and even if we adopted Halloween, it isn't really a tradition still, it was mostly the last 10 or 15 years that we started to celebrate, or show signs of it. Not to mention, that most people would still rather have a 'party' than celebrate it with the family, something that never occurred to me, as I take candy over alcohol and board games over dance parties any day of the year. I have almost always celebrated it, as you could guess, as my family was fond of American holidays since we lived there for a whole year, a year that had a great significance in the life of my siblings. My interest in American culture got deeper with time, I majored in U.S. history and culture, and still up to today I celebrate their holidays as I respect them tremendously. So even if most do not think that we need Thanksgiving, but have no problem adopting Black Friday... (in case you missed it, this is a comment on the fact that humanity is garbage!) I, on the other hand do make sure to give thanks to everything life has given me from the end of November to the end of the year.
And when it comes to my family, it is indeed Christmas that is the ultimate holiday. So what about putting up that Christmas tree early? I am very mad when I go into a shop looking for Halloween things, or even just a pumpkin lantern to put on my table, and a wall of Christmas decorations fall on me. My reason for that is that I find it to be incredibly disrespectful to other holidays. To some Halloween is dressing up and eating candy, to me it is a night when I remember those who I have lost. The importance of the Day of that Dead that follows is never lost on me, but all these decorations give the impression that we do not care. In Hungary it is held on November first, in many other countries it is the second; whichever you celebrate, I apologize for those who do give the impression that somethings can be overlooked. Especially because there is an important debate about how Christmas is too commercialized, and I believe that it is at these times that people do feel that. Another problem is that premature 'Christmas spirit' does not always last until the end of the holiday season... and I can tell you, nothing sucks as much as sitting under the tree with your family and not being able to enjoy it.

The key about Christmas spirit is that it cannot be controlled, it comes when it does, you can help it along, but that is it. There is something that moves inside of you when you see decorations everywhere and I understand if people are maddened if they are in a time of their life when this is absolutely the last thing they want to be feeling. However, whenever I hear that Americans believe that there is a war on Christmas, I would very much like to shove them in these stores in the middle of October, which I am sure will surprise many of them, seeing that they have two holidays in the middle...

Bob's Burgers
People hate me too, in case you are wondering reader, I like to wake up a week after Halloween and start listening to Christmas songs, but even if I share them on social forums, I do not force it onto other people. And I think this is the key problem: when every store has their decorations out mid-October, how do you avoid it? I understand why you are mad. However, if your friend finds that they need the Christmas spirit, for whatever reason (that is right, nobody owes you an explanation) then LEAVE THEM ALONE. First of all, you do not know anyone's real baggage or life story; what if they never celebrated before? Let it be for any reason, they let their heart open to the opportunity and then you immediately kick them down? What if you celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day, or National Pancake Day, would you like if people kept kicking you for it? "Well Jim, I think you have had enough for today, argh!" When you think about it, the reason there is freedom of religion in the first place means that we acknowledge that people need and love somethings that you might not - this difference is often the reason we make the world better, so we should embrace it. And if one wishes to believe in Christmas, you need to respect that. A person's church is made up by their own definitions, you are not meant to understand it.
Second, as this holiday is a hard time all around, you might learn new things that open your approach to how you celebrate it. Hating on it will not help it make better, especially because you will probably not change the reasoning behind stores putting out trees, lights, wrapping paper and all that comes with it way early. If you think about it, it might be radical to me comparing it to religion, but really, nobody minds another person's beliefs until they force it on them. If I, for example, want to put up my tree right now, who is going to stop me? I need that little bit of cheer in my life and I know it will make me happy. Does a grumpy person's war with commercialism come before my own happiness? It should not. A friend of mine just posted on facebook the following meme: "Me waiting for it to be socially acceptable to put up the Christmas tree", with the grizzly bear sitting at the picnic table, and you know what, there is no rule that stipulates this. Society cannot define what I feel, and Christmas is essentially a feeling.

Third, what could be the causes for involuntary Christmas spirit? Besides the shops, the lights and the music in the background, I can tell you for sure that if you are preparing presents for your family and friends, you will not be strong enough. However, if you are starting to make presents in November, you probably don't want to be strong either. Also, if you have a friend like me, I might rub off on you, but I am house trained, so you'll be okay.

A gift from my sister.
And finally, how to escape it? You can't. The only thing you can do is not worry about it more than you should, because even if you try to tell somebody WHY you think it is wrong, they won't care, the same way you don't care about them putting up the tree sooner. So my advice to you is to let it go and not kick those who, for one reason or another, need it in their life. I do agree that stores are out of control, and I do agree that it is completely unnecessary, even if somebody likes to avoid crowds, they probably shop online and go at the beginning of December, not in October (and year round Christmas shops do exist for this specific reason!). I will, however, always stand for the idea that nobody, and I mean nobody, has a right to tell me or anyone else what kind of decorations they can put up in their own homes. And if you take my advice, you'll leave people alone too. 

Have a super happy and successful holiday season!

Usual movie reviews coming back soon.

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