When can I put up the tree?
It is also known as the November question in the Walters home. When the calendar flips after Halloween, it is the question.
Most would answer, “not yet.”
I ask, “why not?”
I love Thanksgiving by the way, I simply do not see the tree as taking anything away from the turkey and day of thanks.
Here are five reasons why I believe it is perfectly appropriate to put up the tree, listen to the holiday tunes, and pour some eggnog right now!
It depends on how crazy you get, but decorating can take a significant amount of time and money. Why not make the most of it. If you take the tree down after Little Christmas, also known as the Epiphany, on December 6th, is two weeks really enough if you put up the tree right before Christmas?
Some would say a month is sufficient, about a week after Thanksgiving. I agree that is a lot of time in itself, but zoom out and consider all of the decorations and work for one out of 12 months? Why not throw an extra few weeks into the mix to make the most of the holiday season.
2. It is good for the soul:
A recent study by British clinical psychologist, Linda Blair, said listening to Christmas music was bad for mental health. I say Bah Humbug to that. When I listen to Christmas music, especially in front of my tree and decorations, I enter a time machine. I reflect on Christmas seasons past, remembering those loved ones in an ornament, decoration, or song.
I also recognize the preciousness of the present, knowing one day I will look back and think of this day and smile.
3. It makes us all smile:
When friends come to see our decorated home, they always smile. Since we live in an apartment, I thank those neighbors who decorate the exterior of their home. As days are darker, the bright lights can lift our spirits.
How people decorate, the variety of traditions (such as the food, favorite movies, prayer rituals, parties), are worth celebrating. They are a part of our story. There is a level of mourning as we all miss those loved ones who will not sit around our tree, but it only reminds us to appreciate these days.
4. Reason for the season:
For Christians, this is all about the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent is a liturgical season intended to prepare us spiritually for the coming of God. I believe one can benefit of that reflective season, while still living the Christmas message of joy and love.
Behind the decorations, gifts, and celebrations, is the simple reminder that we are all called to bring God into the world. This life challenge is not meant for a post-Christmas reflection, but it is one for every day, for people of all faith traditions and spiritualities.
5. Why not?
That is right, why not? Spiritual freedom invites us to do what we truly want despite social expectations. If you want to decorate now, go ahead. If you decide to not decorate because it is just too much or too difficult, don’t. It is your call!
This message goes beyond a Christmas tree. It is one for life. We all can enjoy more freedom to live life following our inner guide instead of meeting the opinions of the outside world.
So, if you celebrate Christmas in December, November, or July, that is up to you. Just remember to live your life, supporting your Spirit to be nourished, so you can bring the joy of the season into the lives of others!