The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Opinion | It’s perfectly fine to start celebrating the holidays on Nov. 1

Navya Rao

’Tis the season to be jolly! Or at least that’s how the saying goes. As the calendar flips to Nov. 1, some people might raise an eyebrow at the sight of Christmas lights being put up and holiday music wafting through hallways.

Some may cry, “It’s too early!” Others may insist, “Let Thanksgiving have its time.”

The holidays, whether Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, are a source of happiness and many people’s favorite time of the year. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, based on interviews with about 7,000 Americans from 2008 to 2012, revealed that the period from late November to late December consistently saw the highest levels of happiness, proving that the holiday season is a favorite and joyful time for many people regardless of their specific holiday traditions.

It’s a common misconception that the holiday season begins earlier and earlier every year and a chief reason people are becoming increasingly wary to begin celebrating before Thanksgiving. Despite it feeling like retailers take advantage of the season with festive displays as early as possible, Google Trends data consistently shows that people’s interest in searching for “Christmas” remains unchanged during the first week of November each year, indicating a consistent start to the holiday season in people’s minds.

I need to preface all of this by saying I have no hate for Thanksgiving at all, which can be a great time to get together with family, but there’s a reason there are no songs or movies attributed to Thanksgiving. It’s a dinner, maybe a party for the family on a single day, but outside of that?

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    On the other hand, we have a slew of activities associated with holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas — like ice skating, gift-giving and caroling, to name a few — while still retaining the familial aspect. This is a cultural phenomenon that spans weeks, not only a single day like Thanksgiving.

    Among these activities, holiday movies and music highlight the season. Large contributors to the joy of the season, familiar movies like “Home Alone” and songs like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” easily invoke that cozy and festive nostalgia that just hits so hard.

    With no major celebration that ushers in its own distinct media culture between Nov. 1 and the holidays, like the spooky movies that accompany Halloween, it shouldn’t feel like a guilty pleasure to begin indulging in Christmas’ expansive media culture once spooky season is over with.

    So why not begin celebrating right after Halloween? Given that happiness levels reach year-long highs during the holiday season and there’s a lack of major media culture during the time between Halloween and Christmas, it seems like a logical choice to start celebrating early, especially considering the stress relief it can bring. 

    Get those colorful lights up and defrost Mariah Carey, the holidays are coming!


    George is a junior in LAS.

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