Early Celebration of Holidays: Cultural or Practical?


Zephen Somerville

Christmas trees lined up to be sold at a store.

We all let out a deep sigh as we walk into a Wal-Mart or Walgreens and are bombarded with the imagery of pumpkins, ghosts, and witches at the front of every store. “90 more days,” you think to yourself, “why now?” This was the exact same thought I had as I walked into a Wal-Mart in early July, seeing the large displays of Halloween candy even though it was nearly 3 full months away.

Why exactly does this happen so soon?

It turns out, celebrating a holiday early has both significant cultural and business values. From family to family, and store to store, there’s a great reason why people celebrate holidays as early as they do.

A lot of people have their reasons for celebrating at different times, either close or far from the holiday itself. Richard Thiele, a Civics teacher for AAHS, explains why he wastes no time in getting prepared for Thanksgiving.

“I don’t think about holidays too much unless it’s thanksgiving. I get excited for that early. I don’t have to buy gifts or anything and get to watch football,” stated Thiele.

While some worry about decorations and gifts, others are simply happy to see their family or their favorite sports team. A lot of people don’t see their family a lot, so these annual occasions are extremely important to celebrate. Thiele later goes on to explain his own family’s connection towards celebrating holidays.

“I’ve always done it on my own, my family and I aren’t really that close. Not in a mean way, we just live 2,000 miles apart,” noted Thiele.

Unfortunately, people cannot go and see their family any time they want. People rely on these holidays to have a close celebration with their family. Similar to Thiele, many Americans, especially college students, do not have the liberty to see the people they love every weekend.

According to a study done by Niche Ink, 58% of college students move 100 miles away from home, with 19% moving more than 500 miles away from home. These distances make a weekend visit into a “maybe on break” moment. Luckily, Holidays like Thanksgiving give time to relax and see your family, either close or distant.

Landon Hall, a student at AAHS, explains his view on the early celebration.

“I think people celebrate early because some people like going all out for Holiday decorations,” commented Hall.

He believes that celebrating early gives people more time to add to their decorations, the “all-out” is a way to show off to other people, whether just their neighbors or close friends, how much they enjoy the specific holiday. Decorations are a very important thing to some people; it shows off not only their personality but perhaps their family’s history.

Seeing the importance holidays have to families, whether you celebrate them or not, is a very eye-opening experience. Learning their individual history, what these holidays mean, and just how much it brings people together all hold their own necessity in today’s society. The next time you see decorations for holiday months down the line, remember that it could be a sign of a family seeing a relative for the first time in years or them showing off how proud they are of their culture.