There are some questions that will never be put to rest. They can divide families, alienate friends, and keep you up at night questioning your own beliefs and those of the people around you. One of those controversial questions up for debate is whether or not the Christmas tree should go up before Thanksgiving? I decided to tackle this divisive conversation headfirst by doing what any one would do: getting my Facebook and Instagram families to weigh in.
For many families, Christmas decorations come out the moment Halloween decorations are put away. For them, cooking the Thanksgiving turkey while listening to Mariah Carey sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is perfectly natural — double the holiday, double the joy! On the flip side, there are those who find the juxtaposition of the two holidays to be downright disgraceful. They are not one mega-holiday; they are two distinct holidays, and should be treated as such.
Apparently, Southern Living is in the second camp. "Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the earliest that you should set up a Christmas tree or put up Christmas-specific decorations," according to an article by the Southern lifestyle brand. Why? "Because it is inconsiderate for your beautiful tree to steal the thunder from you big turkey dinner."
For Colorado-based consultant Payahm Mansoori, "holiday creep" is a slippery slope and has a track record for ruining holidays as it is. "It's way too early to be celebrating Christmas in November. It's a December thing," Mansoori tells Romper. "Holiday creep stinks. Just look at Black Friday. It used to be 8 a.m. after Thanksgiving, now it's Thanksgiving night and that sucks."
But for some people, decking out that glorious Christmas Tree pre-Turkey feast is more of a practical move. "I travel for several weeks during November and December. If I don't get my tree and decorations up early, I barely have time to enjoy it," Shelby Larkin, a graphic designer from Washington D.C. tells Romper. "It is a lot of hard work that goes into decorating for the holidays, so I want my effort to be worth it."
Mary Hicks, mother of one from Northern California, argues that setting up the tree early only adds to the joy of Thanksgiving. "I don’t understand why people think having a Christmas tree makes you less thankful. It’s the season of being grateful, giving, trees, turkeys, time with others, it doesn’t matter how you celebrate these things," Hicks told Romper.
Sometimes, purchasing and decorating a Christmas tree has less to do with preference and more to do money. The online magazine Professor's House explained, "With the average fresh cut tree costing between $45 and $125, many people buy their tree and put it up when they have the extra cash to do so." I'm personally stretched extremely thin financially after traveling for Thanksgiving and purchasing Christmas gifts — that means the tree goes up before Thanksgiving, when we have a little extra dough to make it happen. After all, that's the last time we'll have any extra cash until January.
As I learned firsthand, this is a hot-button issue and people certainly have strong opinions on it. When it comes down to it, however, Kelsey Cotton, mama of two young daughters, sums it up best. "Honestly, I feel like people should do what makes them happy," she tells Romper. Whether that means having a massive Douglas Fir proudly on display at Thanksgiving dinner or waiting until December 1 to trim your tree, that's up to you.