How early is too early- when does the Christmas season really begin?

THE OUTLETS AT SAN CLEMENTE feature an enormous real white fir Christmas tree. (Carly Altman)

Carly Altman | Writer

November 28, 2023

Twinkling fluorescent lights, chilly weather, the scent of pine drifting through the air: Christmastime is often regarded as one of the greatest times of the year by many. However, while Christmas is not until the end of December, many begin celebrating far before the 25th.

In my workplace, we have been playing Christmas music since the early days of November. As each customer walks through the door, I frequently witness two distinctively polarized reactions: while some express immediate excitement, smiling and singing along, others show disappointment, exclaiming, “It’s too early!” Watching the various responses and reactions, I pose the question: how early is too early to begin celebrating the Christmas season?

FESTIVE DECORATIONS light up Southern California. Carly Altman

According to major retail corporations, it is never too early to start decorating for and celebrating Christmas. Stores including Costco, Target, and Walmart have sported large sections of Christmas decor since well before Halloween, offering plenty of festive options months before the actual holiday. Several stores offer endless aisles of every Christmas-themed item imaginable, ranging from mainstream artificial Christmas trees and ornaments to more obscure, unique collections.

“Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year,” said junior Adelyn Haderlie. “I start celebrating as soon as possible; I’ve been decorating and watching holiday movies for months!” 

Many shopping centers also begin Christmas festivities extremely early, displaying huge Christmas trees and festive decorations, as well as playing holiday music in many stores. The Irvine Spectrum has displayed a fifty-foot tree since early November, as well as a seasonal ice skating rink that opened later in the month. The local Outlets at San Clemente have featured their iconic white fir Christmas tree since late October, reaching a towering height of over one hundred feet.

With the magical nostalgia and love that the holiday season brings, many love to celebrate as long as possible. Although Southern California does not see a traditional “white Christmas,” it is still an extremely beautiful and meaningful holiday that is truly such a special part of the year.

However, others feel that early Christmas celebrations take away from the magic that Christmas brings. “I love Christmas, but decorations and celebrations should wait at least until after Thanksgiving,” said junior Alexander Altieri. “If you start celebrating too far in advance, it takes away from what makes the holiday special.”

Overall, the question of when the Christmas season truly begins is entirely subjective. Whether you choose to start celebrating months in advance or wait until December begins, Christmastime is always an enchanting period of joy, giving, and love.

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