Christmas in November

How soon after Halloween does Christmastime actually start?

Kit Nowicki, Guest Writer

Kit Nowicki as a child during Christmas time with her family. (Courtesy of Kit Nowicki)

As spooky season comes to a close and suburban homeowners begin taking down their Halloween decorations, the annual debate begins once more: When does Christmastime start?

The holiday season started on Oct. 1 as the first in the holy trinity of American holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now that Halloween has passed, it’s time for a different celebration.

However, as we’ve all gotten older and become more socially aware and politically educated, Thanksgiving has had quite a fall from grace in regard to its big family holiday status.

Listen, I get it. I grew up a Polish kid in a very white neighborhood in the midwestern suburbs. Every year, my elementary school put on a play retelling the first Thanksgiving. Half of my classmates dressed in little pilgrim costumes and the other half dressed in racially insensitive Indigenous costumes.

Now, as an eight-year-old making hand-turkeys in my second-grade class, I never thought twice about what I was celebrating. I was just excited to have a four-day weekend and to eat off of my great grandmother’s fancy china.

Except, I’m not a little kid basking in the naivety of my white privilege anymore. Thanksgiving is a holiday commemorating the colonization the United States was founded on and the genocide of millions of Indigenous people.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday, it’s a testament to the white supremacy that America is now, and has always been, fiercely loyal to.

So, now that Halloween has come to an end, and it’s time to get into a different kind of holiday spirit, allow me to suggest breaking out the Christmas decorations and Mariah Carey shrines a bit early.

Not only is Christmas not a holiday based around racism and murder, but Christmas really is “the most wonderful time of the year.” So, why not kick it off in November? Why wait? Why not start the advent calendars on Nov. 1 instead of Dec. 1?

First of all, allow me to remind you that Christmas music exists. Need I say more?

Does Thanksgiving have fun, catchy music?

Kit during Christmas time with a family member. (Courtesy of Kit Nowicki)

No. No, it doesn’t.

Christmas also has fun, festive clothing. There are ugly Christmas sweaters, cute Christmas sweaters, Santa hats, Christmas pajamas, et cetera. The only festive clothing that Thanksgiving has to offer is stereotypical pilgrim costumes and offensive depictions of Indigenous dress.

Another example of Christmas’ superiority over Thanksgiving is the decorations.

Christmastime is the one time of year it’s socially acceptable to be as gaudy and tacky as humanly possible. Personally, nothing brings me more joy than kitschy extravagance just for maximalism’s sake.

Brightly-colored ornaments and twinkly lights cover Christmas tree branches; giant inflatable snowmen and plastic reindeer decorate snow covered lawns. There are intricately-crafted wreaths on front doors and fireplaces decked out with garland and nutcrackers.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Christmas has its flaws. It’s a grossly capitalist holiday, but when your options are between celebrating capitalism or genocide— frankly, capitalism is the lesser evil.

The age-old question still stands, though: when does Christmastime begin?

I personally do not perceive Thanksgiving as a valid holiday and believe that Christmas should start on Nov. 1. I do, however, realize that my opinions are not law, and you can celebrate however you please. With that said, if you’re adamant about celebrating Thanksgiving, might I suggest celebrating in a way that honors and supports Indigenous people.

One way you can do this is by educating yourself. Remember that elementary school play about the first Thanksgiving I mentioned earlier? Go ahead and repress that memory if you haven’t already, and educate yourself on United States and Thanksgiving history from the perspective of Indigenous communities.

Another way to be mindful of and honor Indigenous peoples this Thanksgiving is by donating to local tribes. For example, Seattle Pacific University’s campus happens to be on Duwamish land. So, if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in the Seattle area, maybe consider donating to the Duwamish tribe.

All things considered, I started celebrating Christmas as soon as Halloween was over, and I’ll be continuing to celebrate it until New Year’s, but if that isn’t your vibe, at least be respectful of whose land you’re celebrating on.