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Christmas conundrum

Emily Danaher | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I’m in the midst of a dilemma. I’ve always been one to give each holiday its respective month of celebration: October is all about Halloween, November is Thanksgiving, and once December rolls around, I become one of Santa’s elves.

While radio stations, shopping malls and TV commercials seem to skip right over Thanksgiving, cranking the Christmas carols as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 1, I think the season is much more enjoyable taken one holiday at a time. It would be like going to a fancy restaurant and skipping appetizers and your meal because all you can think about is dessert. Yes, it’s tempting, but you miss so much as a result.

I was forced to reconsider this theory when I got to college. Older friends warned I would be so busy studying for final exams and writing papers that if I didn’t start thinking about Christmas before December, the entire Christmas season would pass me by. They argued that if I really loved Christmas, why force myself to postpone its celebration? Why does celebrating Christmas have to mean overshadowing Thanksgiving, they said, can’t they be celebrated together?

I had to admit, there was a point to their argument. After all, Black Friday has become a part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many, and isn’t this just a jump-start on the inevitable Christmas shopping? Yet I got through those first two years of college holding fast to my one holiday at a time mantra. If I rushed to that dessert, I would end up eating too much and feeling sick.
Yes, the stress of finals made the season shorter. Yet, wasn’t that shorter Christmas season better enjoyed than racing past Thanksgiving as if it didn’t matter?

Returning to campus after Thanksgiving, I always put up my little desk-sized Christmas tree, turn on all of my favorite holiday music and buckle down for finals. Because I’m just starting to get ready for Christmas, I’m so much more excited than I would be if I had already been thinking about it for weeks. Nestled right between my two favorite holidays, even finals don’t seem as bad.
Fast forward to this year. I still intend to hold off on the Christmas music and decoration. Yet, junior year is more stressful than ever before. Like everyone on campus, I can’t wait for Thanksgiving break. With Thanksgiving later than usual, it seems like its never going to get here. Maybe that’s why I keep finding myself eyeing my favorite Christmas album. It might be time to get a headstart on that dessert.