Opinion: Wait Until After Thanksgiving to Usher in the Christmas Spirit

I once had hope for this country. Our institutions were corrupt, sure, but they usually got the job done. People disagreed, but we got along, and we understood where the other side was coming from. Our sense of tradition and unity preserved us – at least for a time.

But with every passing year, we’ve seemed to drift further and further from the truth. Our campus – no, our entire country – is losing touch with reality. I once thought, even last year, that the remnant could stem the tide, but the harsh truth is only getting clearer.   

We aren’t just losing the culture war. We’ve already lost it. 

And that’s why this year is, perhaps, the last stand for the Christmas traditionalists.

In fact, as you’re reading this article, a giant Christmas tree stands on our campus lawn, towering above us as we walk to classes. Decorations flood the library, winter and Christmas graphics are appearing everywhere and Christmas events are suddenly headlining every campus calendar in existence. 

Last year, I wrote an article for this paper on Nov. 5, pleading with our country, our leadership and really anyone who was listening to turn the tide before it was too late. But this year, the tree was up before Halloween – almost a full week ahead of even Liberty’s poor record of Christmas traditionalism. 

Moral arguments on whether Christmas can be celebrated before Thanksgiving have raged for years, and all too often, the historical case, rooted in longstanding American and Christian ideals, has fallen on deaf ears. I won’t be restating that case today.

Rather, this is a direct plea to you – the radical Novembrist who has thrown out tradition for the immediate gratification of early Christmas. I believe you care about this school, and you care about this country – and I’m asking you to consider the ramifications of your actions one last time. 

On the face of it, there’s really nothing wrong with early Christmas music – which is where it all started. What’s a little music out of season? Just harmless entertainment, you might say. 

It’s incredibly easy to make that argument, to point out unswerving loyalty to the time-honored timetable of Christmas as backwards, outdated – even crotchety. It’s the same argument being made by Novembrists across our society, who want nothing more than to tear down our social fabric in favor of a brave new world that we can define for ourselves. 

But take a look at the results of that worldview. Music turns into Christmas drinks at Starbucks, then into a few stray decorations, then into Christmas trees – and before long Christmas goods are being sold at Walmart before Halloween. 

Where will it stop? Will there be a point where Christmas decorations go up in August, where Mariah Carey belts Christmas-tree lyrics in July, where fir trees decorate our homes in May? 

At that point, there’s no meaning to the Christmas season anymore – it’s just a word we use for yet another holiday we’ve degraded to a consumerist feeling, a basic aesthetic. We’re eroding the foundations of the Advent season that, when mixed with a healthy dose of snow, magic and Christmas music, make Christmas feel so special.

That sense of timeliness, that sense of depth and order, is why traditions exist. 

Though never perfect, in many senses they define us as people, serving as guideposts to help navigate through a complex world. The ways we eat, work, sleep – even celebrate Christmas –  make us who we are.

As Reb Tevye famously once said in “Fiddler on the Roof,” without traditions, our lives are shaky, driven by the winds of time – like a man trying to balance on a rooftop while scraping out a tune on a fiddle.

Novembrists don’t understand this reality, sadly. Just like many other issues in our current society, they want to transform the calendar toward their own ends, with nary a thought toward why we celebrate Christmas the way we do. In a year like 2020, with a traumatic, ongoing election season and a pandemic with no end in sight, Novembrism is yet another attempt to tear down the fabric of our society, cloaked in altruistic motives. Without a doubt, people back it with good intentions – but the architects of this movement care nothing for your wellbeing.

We aren’t just diluting the Christmas spirit. This year, we’re taking yet another step toward demolishing the values we’ve cherished for centuries – all in the name of change. 

At this point, maybe it’s too late to stop the inexorable march over the precipice. Perhaps nothing I say can change your perspective, and I exist in your mind as a relic of a bygone era of snooty grumpiness. Maybe Christmas traditionalists like me will slowly disappear within the decade, barely a footnote in the history books of holiday spirit. 

But if sticking to my guns means that I finish this fight on the “wrong side” of history, so be it. 

I’ll go down fighting. 

John Nekrasov is the Sports Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @john_nekrasov.

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