Graphic designed on Canva by Lulu Vitulo, winter holiday items on one side, characteristic fall items on the other. (Lulu Vitulo)
Graphic designed on Canva by Lulu Vitulo, winter holiday items on one side, characteristic fall items on the other.

Lulu Vitulo

November controversy: when is the “correct” time to start celebrating the holidays?

Our Editors share their opinions on the borders between celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas

November 10, 2022

It’s November, which means as soon as those clocks struck 12 AM on Nov. 1, stores hurriedly rushed to pull all candy, costumes, and decorations from their shelves so they could make room for candy, costumes, and decorations, but in a green and red theme.

Actually, I’m lying; they did it in the month of October and the week of Halloween, as witnessed by my unbelieving eyes.

But despite the desecration of the beloved Halloween section, I’m not particularly bothered by the never-ending creep of Christmas into the latter half of the year. In fact, this is my favorite time of the year. It’s the time where I can point at the television screen, no doubt filled with the colors of red and green, and watch a person’s face go from perfectly neutral to sour as a lemon faster than anything.

To contrast with this, it is equally amusing to see people defend the fact that Christmas would absolutely leech into October if it weren’t for Halloween.

My favorite holiday is Halloween, but I have faith that goth kids and corporations’ need to leech every penny they can to hold the line against peppermint and reindeer. Halloween could never be replaced because, unlike Thanksgiving, Halloween’s message to the youth is that one night a year they are given all the candy they could possibly want, and if they are not allowed that candy, they are morally required to throw a riot.

Doesn’t really mesh well with the whole, if you aren’t good then you don’t get to celebrate thing Christmas has going on.

To be honest, my biggest problem with the whole dilemma is that since everyone is distracted, no one really realizes how big of a threat Mariah Carey has really become.

You thought November was a Christmas month? No, it’s her month. It became her month when whatever foolish radio station decided to play those first opening notes, just like October didn’t become Halloween until “Spirit Halloween” grew back into that old Blockbuster like a parasitic virus.

No one seems to understand how big of a threat she is, mostly to my sanity, but it’s alright for now. I can curl up on a couch and watch Nightmare Before Christmas for the billionth time, eating my brother’s Halloween candy, and ignore the argument that bubbles up right on the dot on Nov. 1.

Hats off to you, Spirit Halloween. May you haunt another strip mall next year.

 

 

Lulu: Holi-slay

I love holidays. Anytime around a holiday is filled with fun, excitement and a general feeling of something special happening. Dreary school days pass by a little better knowing there’s a holiday coming up, and everything around you is decorated and cheery and interesting, taking a much-needed break from dull, boring surroundings. Two holidays that fit this description the most, in my opinion, are Halloween and Christmas. And so, like every year, the tug between the line that separates them grows in fervor.

While Halloween and Christmas are at the top of my “Most Festive” Holiday list, Thanksgiving is certainly not. For starters, the aesthetic appeal of Thanksgiving is already very low. Halloween is spooky, scary; decorating for it leaves lots of room for creativity and imagination. Christmas is bright, sparkly, warm and sweet. Red, green, gold, white, blue, and even pink are all options for colors, and lights are everywhere. Thanksgiving in origin is already plain. Pilgrims, who were puritans, wore dull colors and didn’t even allow dancing. Fall colors, mostly muted and a mixture of browns, reds and yellows, can only go so far. The truth is, Thanksgiving’s main appeal is food.

Which brings us to the second issue. The traditional “Thanksgiving meal” is mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc., and most importantly: Turkey. One of the driest, worst meats possible. Even if done right, a turkey will never compare to the deliciousness of filet mignon or pork or even roasted chicken. In fact, many people will omit turkey and substitute it for their preferred choice of meat. So already, Thanksgiving’s “distinctive” aspects have been dwindled down to gratitude, dull colors, and some side dishes.

As we know, Thanksgiving is about giving “Thanks” and being grateful. Family and friends come together, and celebrate what they have together. Christmas is about giving, cherishing, and having “Christmas spirit.” Family and friends come together, and celebrate what they have together. Yes, I’m saying they’re about the same thing. Maybe not exactly the same thing, but very very similar. Of course, there are also religious connotations with Christmas, but as cultures have combined in the mixing pot of America, that’s changing. I don’t associate strongly with my religion, Catholicism, but I still celebrate because the meaning of Christmas goes beyond that. Christmas is no longer only a holiday for Christians.
So at this point, what is left of Thanksgiving? Heritage? History? Sure, a small moment where European colonizers worked together with American Indians/Native Americans (only after they were starving and had no other choice), which in the grand scheme of things paled in the face of the millions of Native Americans who were killed, died of European disease, or were forcibly removed off their land.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t get that sweet, one-week break off of school, or that you shouldn’t take another day to eat amazing food with family and friends, but why all the anger over people decorating or celebrating Christmas early? I start planning for Christmas Nov. 1, and I decorate whenever I’m ready to.

Obviously, there are people who really love Thanksgiving, and that’s fine! I don’t understand it, but of course we’re all different. My issue is with people revering it as this holiday that needs to be preserved and untouched by any other holiday around it.

Let people be excited for things they want to be excited about. If you’re so happy and grateful, let others do the same.

Rebekah: Nay to the early holidays

It is November. Not December. Christmas is a holiday for December. The first day of November came around and already people have been starting to play Christmas music and I have had a lot of friends talk about decorating for the holidays. In my opinion, the holidays need to be kept separate.

Thanksgiving is a completely different holiday than Christmas so why mix the holiday season together. Yes, Halloween is over and we have entered the seasons of holidays but I don’t think that means that we need to have a bunch of overlap.

Thanksgiving is always overshadowed by Christmas because Christmas gives everyone holiday cheer and good spirits but to me, Christmas has a completely different meaning than just presents, Santa and eggnog. Thanksgiving is the holiday all about family and communing together to dine and drink as a family and friends. Christmas is the time of year for remembrance of my faith.

Now, I will be the first person to admit that I absolutely adore Christmas time and the whole warm-hearted feel around that time of year. Winter is my favorite time of year, especially because of the loving holiday feel around it. However, I still don’t enjoy the overlap. Christmas music should not be played during November because it isn’t Christmas time yet, it is still completely Thanksgiving time.

Overall, I just don’t think that we need to ignore Thanksgiving in favor of an attempt at Christmas early. The Christmas holiday doesn’t actually start hitting until it is exam time and that week or two before we finish the semester. This is a false hope for the holidays.

Savannah: Holi-…wait till after giving thanks

Christmas music is great, but Thanksgiving is still a good holiday as well. As Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday I feel like it is overlooked by the presence of Christmas themed items in November. However; I also fall into the trap of listening to Christmas music not only in November, but months past December.

My friends often start playing Christmas music early in the year and I don’t exactly mind, because I enjoy Christmas music all the time. Plus, being in the MHS concert band we start learning Christmas music sometime even before Halloween. This is not really because we love Christmas music, it is more so since we have to start learning music early for our Christmas concert that often happens before Christmas break.

The concept of decorating your house with Christmas decorations and setting up your Christmas tree seems like a way of not appreciating Thanksgiving. When I drive past houses with tons of Christmas decorations the day after Halloween I often wonder why they do not wait a little longer before they dive straight into Christmas. To put it into perspective it’s like putting up spooky Halloween decorations before the fourth of July.

Not only the concept of people decorating for Christmas super early, but also stores starting to sell Christmas candy and decorations right after Halloween. I understand that Thanksgiving is not really a holiday that people decorate for, but stores also overlook it wanting to start the Christmas spike in prices as soon as the Halloween decorations can go on sale. With this I feel like stores make it easier for people to jump straight into winter decorations and celebrations avoiding autumn festivities.

It is okay to listen to Christmas music and enjoy Christmas inspired drinks in the fall, but sometimes people take it too far overlooking Thanksgiving by starting to decorate their house for Christmas in November.

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About the Contributors
Marjorie Smedley, Opinions Editor

Marjorie Smedley is the Opinions Editor on the McIntosh Trail, and has been on staff for two years. A senior at McIntosh, Smedley moved back to Georgia...

Lulu Vitulo, Managing, Features Editor

Lulu Vitulo is a junior at McIntosh High School. She has been a part of the McIntosh Trail for three years, and is the current Features and Managing Editor....

Rebekah Bushmire, Editor-in-Chief

Rebekah Bushmire has been on The Trail staff for going on three years and will be serving as the editor-in-chief for the 2022-2023 school year. She is...

Savannah Hayes, News Editor

Attending McIntosh High School, Savannah Hayes is a junior and the News Editor for the McIntosh Trail. This is her second year on the staff. Over the summer...

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