Celebrate Christmas in December
Cel­e­brate Christmas in December

The best way to ward off con­sumerism this Christmas season is to give thanks for what you already have and savor the holiday that cel­e­brates grat­itude: Thanks­giving.

In Nathanael Meadowcroft’s Oct. 27 piece titled “Jingle bells before the turkey sells,” he argues that Amer­icans don’t need to wait until after Thanks­giving to turn on Christmas music. Meadowcroft’s primary argument is that Christmas music fends off con­sumerism and encourages cel­e­brating the love of God and family, but Meadowcroft’s plan over­shadows a uniquely American and Christian holiday that pro­motes a love for God and family that remains nearly untouched by 21st century con­sumerism.

Thanks­giving orig­i­nated as a Day of Thanks to God in 1621, when Christian set­tlers ded­i­cated several days to feasting and thanking God for pre­serving them during the Starving Time, a famine that killed half of the Ply­mouth set­tlement. Amer­icans today are wealthier and more selfish than they ever have been. Fully cel­e­brating Thanks­giving reminds Amer­icans to praise God for the com­forts they have been given. Turning on Christmas music in early November bypasses Thanks­giving, robbing Amer­icans of one ded­i­cated day to expe­rience the peace that comes from expressing grat­itude.

Mead­ow­croft holds that a single month is not suf­fi­cient time to cel­e­brate Christmas. Instead, he says the Christmas season should be more than doubled to increase the joy it brings. An overex­tended Christmas season, however, can cause Dec. 25 to become an anti­cli­mactic event, like the arrival of the turkey after eating too much mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.

Because Thanks­giving is mainly cel­e­brated by Amer­icans, Mead­ow­croft argues that it does not have the gravity to act as an anchor for the cel­e­bration of a worldwide holiday. This argument, however, dimin­ishes the impor­tance of every other “America-only” holiday, such as Fourth of July.

The Roman Catholic Church begins to cel­e­brate Christmas — an orig­i­nally Christian holiday — four weeks before Christmas Day, which means it starts cel­e­brating after Thanks­giving. This is the ear­liest the holiday is tra­di­tionally cel­e­brated in the Christian faith, and that’s when we should start lis­tening to Christmas music.

In its rightful place, Christmas music does remind us of the real reasons to cel­e­brate Christmas, as Mead­ow­croft asserts. But an over­sat­u­ration of Christmas music renders the catchy tunes and mean­ingful lyrics annoying rather than insightful and touching. In order to fully enjoy Christmas, we’re going to first give thanks and fully appre­ciate Thanks­giving.

If that makes us grinches, then paint us green.

Mr. Bennett is a junior studying eco­nomics and jour­nalism, and Ms. Patrick is a senior studying history and jour­nalism.