Ashlyn Messier listening to Mariah Carrey song “All I want for Christmas is you.” Photo by Siobhan Richards.

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when the shelves go straight from Halloween candy to mini chocolate Christmas trees. Stores have been decked out in holiday decor with ornaments hanging from the ceiling. Every time you get in the car, you get just a little tempted to play “All I Want for Christmas is You” and sing it at the top of your lungs on your drive home. 

We all do it, but where do we draw the line? How early is too early to start getting ready for the holiday season? Is it ever too early? 

Here’s the thing. I know some people feel like you shouldn’t be getting ready for Christmas or Hanukkah before Thanksgiving. I used to feel that way too. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to it just as much as Christmas. And sometimes, Thanksgiving seems to be overshadowed by the December holidays. But don’t let me fool you, I throw on “The Grinch” and listen to “Jingle Bell Rock” before Dec. 1 comes around, and I’ll tell you why.  

The holiday season only comes around once a year. Once it’s over, it’s over, and we have to wait another 11 months for it to come back around. That means we only have the month of December where we can listen to our favorite Christmas songs; unless you are one of those people who listens to Christmas music in July… I’m not judging. 

So, if you want to listen to some holiday music, pull out your gingerbread mug and make some cookies, go for it! Thanksgiving is part of the holiday season, and listening to some Christmas music in November doesn’t take away from Thanksgiving; I think it can add to it. Even though I listen to Christmas music every once in a while in November, I still am extremely excited to eat mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thanksgiving with my family. 

But, I will say, I think it makes the holiday season even more exciting when you wait until December to decorate the outside of the house and put up your tree. That’s when you know that the holidays are really almost here. In December, it’s time to ramp up the holiday festivities. This is when it starts to feel weird to watch anything but a holiday movie. This is when the holiday shopping begins and we can’t wait to get everything wrapped and under the tree.  

So here’s what I think: the holiday’s only come once a year, so do whatever you want to do to get yourself in the spirit, no matter when that may be. The beginning of November, the beginning of December or Christmas Eve. The holidays are coming up fast, like they always do. So get ready to rock around the Christmas tree, drink hot chocolate while watching “The Polar Express” and drive around to see all the colorful lights, because the holiday season is practically upon us. No matter how you’ll be spending this holiday season, putting up a Christmas tree, eating a giant feast on Kwanzaa or lighting a menorah for Hanukkah, start getting in the spirit!