As we walk through the store's automated sliding doors, my mom's groan says it all — utter disappointment and annoyance. Then irritation steps in as we grab a cart, "We haven't even made it through Halloween, and they've got the Christmas display up?!?"
A lifetime of messages from trusted adults and the world has kept me following "the rules."
Can you hear society saying similar things?
"Urg. Are you serious?!? Christmas music in November?"
"I cannot believe they've got Christmas light up on the house already."
"You HAVE TO wait until Thanksgiving weekend to put up the tree."
I wholeheartedly believe the holiday season is a magical time of year, filled with love and joy. But the season is often also overflowing with to-do's — the buying and wrapping of gifts, creating and sending holiday cards, driving to and fro, planning family traditions....
Give yourself more time.
Below are seven reasons to abandon "the rules" this year.
You officially have permission to put up your tree, turn on the lights, and start celebrating the holiday season any time after November first.
7 Reasons To Start Celebrating Christmas Now
May you have the courage this year to begin breaking patterns in your life that no longer serve you. Give yourself time to pause and reflect as you read this post today.
1. The world needs more twinkle lights right now.
Do you remember the old movie, "You've Got Mail?"
In the classic film, everything that could go wrong is going wrong, and at that moment, Kathleen Kelly (aka Meg Ryan) coined one of my favorite holiday quotes:
"It will all shake out. Meanwhile, I'm putting up more twinkle lights."
It has been a rough year, my friend. I hope "it will all shake out," but in the meantime, you could use some twinkly lights.
Forget societal rules; you officially have permission to set up your tree and twinkle lights ANY TIME after November 1.
Not sure what this is supposed to look like with Thanksgiving mid-November? Check out some playful ways to experiment with transitional decorating.
2. Celebrating the holidays early frees you and your family from societal rules of consumerism.
Society teaches that to celebrate the season BEFORE December (or in the U.S. before Thanksgiving) means you've been manipulated by holiday marketing.
We've created rules about when it is appropriate to celebrate as a form of resistance to consumerism.
Yet, we are still allowing these buy-buy-buy businesses to control our lives if you think about it. Our self-imposed "celebration rules" were created to oppose them, not to support us having a joyful holiday.
Let go of this antiquated form of resistance.
"The older I get, the more I understand that it's okay to live a life other's don't understand." — Jenna W
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How to Simplify the Holidays by Buying Less but Giving More
3. Letting go of the defined season allows you to open your calendar to an unbusy holiday.
The calendar poses a particular challenge for those of us in the United States. The holiday season, which many Americans define as the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, changes from year to year.
If we follow traditional rules, the holiday season can literally vary by a full week because of when Thanksgiving falls. Who needs this shifting pressure?
Drop this dated restriction and open up your calendar to the unbusy holiday season you deserve.
I plan to be busy this holiday season, but not in the way most people accept. — Zina Harrington
4. Embracing the holidays earlier inspires more calendar time to celebrate gratitude.
Did you know that Canada celebrates its national Thanksgiving in October?
A little jealous? I was too.
Inspired by a Candian friend, last year, our family ditched the "wait for Thanksgiving to be over" rule and began celebrating the holidays on November first. It was awesome.
It is possible to celebrate the holiday season early and still honor meaningful Thanksgiving traditions — here's how. <— Here are some things we did to ensure things didn't feel weird when turkey day arrived!
The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become. —Robert Holden
5. Go ahead, put up those twinkly lights! Science says it will make you happier.
If you've been itching to put up the holiday lights early this year, go ahead — studies show it will make you happier.
Psychologist Deborah Serani explains that decorating will lift your mood by creating a neurological shift, "Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone." Our brains flip a happy switch when the twinkle lights come on.
Psychoanalyst, Steve McKeown, has told Unilad, "In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate with things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood."
Decorations are a nostalgic pathway to magical emotions. Decorating earlier allows you to tap into the holidays' excitement before others.
Do your own thing. Make yourself happy; put up your decorations this weekend and enjoy the excitement of the season!
There's nothing cozier than a Christmas tree all lit up! — Jenny Han
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: It’s OK To Put Up Your Christmas Tree Now — Make No Apologies
6. Celebrating the holidays early allows us to change our perspective of the world.
Last year, our family bought a Subaru Outback, and it felt like out of nowhere, everywhere I turned, I saw a Subaru.
We subconsciously see what our minds look for in this world.
Stories of hate, divide, and an overall lack of humanity fill more and more of our news headlines. This is all I see in the world as of late.
Rebecca "Bexx" Francois, from the "Black Girl Podcast," said something recently that gave me great pause.
She asks us to redirect our conversations and stop letting the media dictate our focus. Let's talk about the upside of the last few years we've been through too...
Value of time.
Let me repeat that last one — Love.
Help your subconscious mind; step into the spirit of Christmas early this year. Celebrate the season early and make time now to redirect your focus.
7. Letting go of the traditionally defined season allows you to truly celebrate with the ones you love most in this world.
I wholeheartedly believe the holiday season is a magical time of year, filled with love and joy. But it is often also overwhelming — the buying and wrapping of gifts, creating and sending holiday cards, driving to and fro, planning family traditions…. all fit into a small amount of time.
Remember, my friend, doing your best doesn't mean working yourself to the point of a nervous breakdown.
Give yourself more time.
"Go into this holiday season with the attitude that your peace, your health of mind, and your heart mean more than getting everything done. That your smile matters. That feeling rested matters. That celebrating with your loved ones matters.”
You deserve a joyful and calm holiday season.
A final note...
A quick reminder, it is not your responsibility to want the holiday season others want for you.
Let go of the weight of the world's expectations, society's rules, and do your own thing.
Rules are meant to be broken.
If your soul needs twinkle lights, put up twinkle lights.
Merry everything and happy always.
P.S. I just had to share this too...
Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. — Hamilton Wright Mabie
Be the LOVE you want to see in this world.
Celebrating NOW allows you to not only see more love in the world but also to "engage in a conspiracy of love" at a time when we truly need it.
Scott Stoner's invites us to step into the spirit of the season...
"Love is spread the same way hatred is spread, by people individually and collectively deciding which spirit will be their guide and deciding which spirit they are going to radiate out both at home and in the world."
He continues, "These last few days, I have been reflecting on what kind of spirit am I spreading into the lives of the people I come in contact with. I invite you to do the same.
I have been reflecting on the difficult fact that I, like most all of us, am capable of spreading a spirit of negativity, and of unhealthy criticism.
At the same time, I also, like most of us, am capable of spreading a spirit of love and healing.
It's not easy to take an honest inventory of ourselves, but in the end it is a worthwhile exercise as it helps us to recommit to engaging in a conspiracy of love, the kind of conspiracy our homes and our world desperately need right now."
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