Which Comes First, the Turkey or the Tree?

It’s officially the time of year when the debate over whether or not it’s acceptable to start celebrating all things winter holiday takes over. I’m not sure how or when embracing the spirit of Christmas in November became a heavily debated topic, but my social media feed is currently flooded with friendly banter over whether or not it’s okay to decorate the tree, bake some holiday treats, or even partake in classic Christmas movies before we gather round our dining room tables to give thanks for all of our blessings. 

Before we had our son, I was a ‘drag out the Christmas decorations on Black Friday’ kind of girl. I saw no reason to rush seasons, and I was perfectly content to hold off on decorating, not listen to any holiday music, and even put off Christmas shopping until after our refrigerator was filled with Thanksgiving leftovers. Now that we have a 5 year old, however, my take on the most wonderful time of the year has changed. Though we don’t yet have a Christmas tree or any other holiday decorations displayed in our own home (mainly due to a remodeling project that will be completed shortly after Thanksgiving), I can’t help but find myself consumed with the Christmas spirit much earlier than in previous years. 

Several factors play into my newfound (some may say premature) sense of holiday cheer:

The Holidays are a Perfect Pick Me Up:

Whether it be enjoying twinkling lights, belting out Mariah’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, or watching one of my beloved Hallmark holiday movies, Christmas is a total pick me up. The world around us can feel cruel, but everything about the Christmas season says otherwise. Random acts of kindness are being completed at every turn, the smell of gingerbread is in the air, and cheery music is playing in almost every public venue. I honestly can’t find any fault in enjoying these pleasantries for an extra few weeks, so rather than try to beat ’em…our family will join ’em. 

My Son is Totally Into it:

And I don’t just mean the promise that Santa is on his way. He’s played with his Little People Nativity Set almost every day, and he’s asked good questions about our family’s beliefs. We had an absolute blast watching the new version of the Grinch, and we’ve sung along to Mickey’s Christmas Carols. Our gingerbread house kit is purchased, and he’s learning about our family traditions. 

He’s also expressed an interest in participating in our local giving tree to help families in need. If that’s not a parenting win, I don’t know what is. So I’m happy to join him in his anticipation for all things Christmas.

It Won’t be Like This Forever:

My son is wise, and I honestly don’t know how much longer he will be on Santa’s list. So I’m going to take advantage of this perfect parenting position while the getting is good. A warning of, ‘Santa is watching’ or ‘If you don’t pick up your toys, I don’t see any reason for Santa to bring you more’ is enough to have our sometimes ornery 5 year old acting like a saint. I’d legitimately be a fool to not cash in on this kind of parental collateral while I can.

All this said, I totally understand those who claim that they can’t/won’t decorate for Christmas until they’ve given Thanksgiving the time and attention it deserves. We, too, love the holiday that focuses on gratitude, family, and mountains of mashed potatoes. We will be thoroughly embracing all the above during our own Thanksgiving celebration. But that’s certainly not going to stop this family from enjoying our reindeer onesies (and all the other fun the Christmas season has to offer) between now and then.




This post has been updated and republished. Original author: Liz Hawkins