Thanksgiving is a time for considering one’s blessings, both gifted and earned, thinking of those who have helped you along your way, being with family and/or friends, and eating too much.
It’s also a time when you start to hear those jingle bells in stores and suddenly, mannequins are dressed like elves right after Halloween. It’s when your friend, roommate, parent, or sibling who just loves Christmas breaks out the music and the strings of lights before you’ve even brined the turkey.
It’s the season of the age-old question: do you start decorating and playing Christmas music before or after the turkey feast?
I see this both ways. I like putting up the Christmas tree mid-November, usually the week before Thanksgiving if possible, and I start the Christmas music around that time if I’m in the mood, but otherwise, it waits until after Thanksgiving. Generally, I actually like to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the lights from the tree adding to the atmosphere.
But in the retail world, my view was much different. I worked at Macy’s for two and a half years and while I loved the decorations and the music at the start, by early December, I was ready to put my foot through any speaker playing “Frosty the Snowman” or “Last Christmas”. It was a relief to go to work December 26th and hear the normal pop music tracks playing in the store.
So basically, play it by ear. One year you may want the carols on and tree up before mid-November, other years you may want to wait until it’s exactly December 1st. On those years, keep your iPod with non-Christmas music handy if you have to venture out to the mall.
In any case, there’s one thing about Christmas stuff showing up before Thanksgiving that I will never complain about: the food. I feel no shame in having a good old candy cane or Trader Joe’s Peppermint Jo-Jos after Thanksgiving dinner.