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Keep Christmas Out of November

Credit: https://blogs.hope.edu/students/home/scrooge-until-thanksgiving/

Credit: https://blogs.hope.edu/students/home/scrooge-until-thanksgiving/

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Credit: https://blogs.hope.edu/students/home/scrooge-until-thanksgiving/

Halloween is over and that means it’s basically Christmas! The next two months are full of presents, desserts, and the same ten carols played over and over. At least, that’s how our society sees things. The holiday season has grown longer and longer, creeping earlier in November each year. Unfortunately, in the hustle to find the perfect gift, we trample one of the best, and most important times, of the year: Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has its flaws, of course. It is based on a story that depicts the relationship between early colonists and Native Americans into some happy friendship without, you know, the devastating effects of colonialism. However, despite its controversial origins, the holiday itself has good intentions. It provides an opportunity for people to recognize and give thanks for the things they have in their lives. Everybody has his or her own way of doing this- eating a large meal with family, serving food to homeless, or just cuddling up with a pet to watch a favorite movie. Regardless, it’s an opportunity to pause and appreciate the little things around us. It also offers all the same great things of Christmas- food, family, fun- without the stress.

Most importantly, there are no presents. It’s not that presents aren’t enjoyable. They can be a great way to show gratitude. However, the gift-giving culture has become so distorted it ruins the effect. So much of the holiday spirit is lost when one has to fulfill the social obligation of picking out and buying the perfect present for every family member and friend. I’m a college student; I have no money. During the holiday season I feel one of two ways: either disappointed because I couldn’t give a gift that adequately sums up everything a person means to me, or stressed because that perfect gift took the last of my money that I need to buy over priced school books next semester. It’s a difficult time of year. Thanksgiving offers the same sense of community and happiness without all the strings or obligations.

We need to keep Christmas in December and allow ourselves to breathe the crisp, fall air in November. The longer we live in the Christmas season, the less cheerful we become. It is easy to lose track of what’s important. We can become so focused on presents and fail to see the little gifts we already have. Thanksgiving is that focus, recalibrating us as we go into the holidays.

 

*I recognize that Thanksgiving and Christmas are very American and Christian-focused. Not everybody celebrates these holidays. However, they are such prevalent parts of American society that it is inevitable that the Oxford student can avoid them during the next two months. Themes of giving thanks and appreciation surely resonate with all audiences.  

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Keep Christmas Out of November