Top 3 Reasons to Hold off on Christmas until After Thanksgiving  

As I drive around town, I see people replacing their jack-o-lanterns and skeletons for twinkle lights and wreaths. Did I miss something?

With the festivities of Halloween and the spirit of Christmas, poor Thanksgiving has become the middle child of the end-of-year holidays. In our family, however, we let Thanksgiving have a moment in the light before we open the attic and take down our Christmas decor. These are the top 3 reasons we choose to leave Christmas alone until after Turkey Day.

We need a season of gratitude 

It might just be me, but I can often find any reason to complain. The house is a wreck. The kids are sick. My hair hasn’t been washed in … well I can’t remember when. At the end of a long day, I often find myself just hoping to get through to the end. The anticipation of Thanksgiving gives me the time to shift my focus from attitude to gratitude. I’m thankful to have a house that can be wrecked. Though there may be germs, it’s a privilege to have a reliable daycare where my kids grow, learn, and play. I’m even thankful to still have my thick hair that I didn’t lose postpartum even though it’s SO dirty. 

Thanksgiving has even given us a platform to talk about gratitude with our children. It helps us to frame our life as a blessing and to count the many, many privileges we have been afforded as well as gratefulness for the families and friends we have. I never want my kid to take what they have for granted, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to talk about that. 

Gathering around the table and not the gifts

Growing up, my family ate dinner together at the dinner table. Unless one of us had some kind of sport or club meeting, we were there together, without technology, talking about our day and coming together as a family unit. My husband and I have tried to make this a tradition in our own home, too, even if it’s for 5 minutes with hot dogs. 

While not its original intention, Christmas has more quickly become about the gifts under the tree or the wish lists we create. The only gifts involved with Thanksgiving are food, and who doesn’t love that? Count me in for good conversation around the dinner table before we head into the holly jolly season. 

Two months is too long for me

I have never started celebrating the Fourth of July in May. I would look at someone like they were insane if they started putting Easter eggs out before Mardi Gras even happened. Two months is a long time for me to be in the spirit of anything, really.

One of my favorite family traditions, too, is the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Once we have filled our bellies, we start pulling down the Christmas decor and might even throw on a Christmas record. Every Friday after Thanksgiving, we go and find a Christmas tree for us to bring home. It’s a tradition I love and one I am never willing to start until Thanksgiving feasting is complete. 

I’m not a scrooge. I think if you like celebrating Christmas the moment the clock strikes midnight after Halloween, I say go for it. But for me and my family, we’ll join in after Turkey Day is complete.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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