The one-hundred-percent totally-official time to begin holiday celebrations


Emma Homan, Feature News Director

Everyone has turned on their car radio in mid-November to be suddenly flashbanged by “Jingle Bell Rock” or “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Everyone has encountered one neighbor who has enough strings of lights on their house to divert flight paths set up by 11:59 p.m. on November 1. The age-old debate on the appropriate time to begin your holiday decorating, baking, and caroling ends today.

Of course, for every Jolly St. Nick fanatic, there’s a certified Grinch supporter. People who recoil at the sight of a single Christmas tree before the first good snow falls (although these days, the first “Christmas snow” could be in October or January.) would be horrified by some of the most determined of holiday decorators. Put a fanatic and a Grinch in the same room and watch metaphorical (or not so metaphorical) fireworks go off.

But how does one narrow down the optimal time to begin celebrating? Some may argue there is no one correct answer, but I am here to narrow down the ultimate, official, and essential time to begin your holiday celebrations to ensure optimal holiday spirit. 

We are going to boil this down to an exact science.

First, holiday cooking. This can begin as early as November. Everyone could use a nice filling wintery meal in the weeks leading up to the holidays, and as a soup enthusiast myself I wholeheartedly support year-round holiday cooking. I can’t work miracles though, so late autumn is what we’re working with.

Holiday decorating is acceptable starting in December. November belongs to Thanksgiving, and if you start decorating for winter holidays during October, the sacred month of Halloween? God help you when the goth kids egg your silly little lights for daring to infringe upon their holy month. December is a good compromise, so string up your lights, but don’t dare turn them on until the clock strikes midnight on December 1.

When it comes to Christmas music and jovial caroling tunes, less is more. If you start too early you’re bound to be violently repulsed to the very thought of sleigh bells ringing, let alone another terrible cover of “Jingle Bells” by the local children’s choir. Save yourself, and those poor kids, by waiting until the 15th at least before dousing your ears in holiday cheer.

As for “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or “Happy Hanukkah,” spare the local grocery cashiers with your sickening joy by waiting until the week of the aforementioned holiday. Those poor teens hear every iteration of holiday cheer throughout the month of December, and simply wishing them a good day would be a breath of non-peppermint air. And for goodness sakes, please, please don’t start an argument with them about the appropriate holiday farewell. They’re not listening, and you’re holding them captive. Leave them alone.

And that’s it! The official, perfect, unquestionable method for maximizing holiday cheer without incurring a burnout of joy. Please use this method to optimize your holiday season without incurring any of the negative effects that may occur. (We at BAHS Red and White do not absorb any negative side effects of enforcing such a dictatorial policy on your friends and family, such as a loss of friends, visiting relatives, and a sharp decrease in holiday cheer.)