Cons to Christmas Decorations

Nick Kallipolites, Staff Writer

The holiday season, other than reuniting with family and friends, sharing stories, and having a meal together, is a period marked by extreme commerce. Thanksgiving is considered a forgotten holiday to corporations as they rush to exhibit their holiday decorations as soon as the clock strikes midnight on November 1. And that’s not even the earliest; I’ve seen Christmas and winter decorations on display as early as September. There’s something eerie about seeing holiday merchandise when you have a fall birthday. 

Other than walking into stores, I’ve driven by many homes at night with an entire city’s worth of lights and decorations. Although it looks great and catches my attention for a few seconds, what other reason is there for it? It seems like it’s a waste of electricity, when a simple snowman or string of lights above the front door could do. All of those decorations will have to be taken down after the New Year as well, and that’s a lot of work for something that was only being exhibited for perhaps a month at most.
Most of those decorations are just plastic stored in more plastic for 10 months of the year, consuming valuable space in my house’s half-unfinished basement. There’s an entire section of it quartered off for decorations for all holidays— Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and everything in relation to birthdays. We have shelving units lining the walls of the unfinished side, but we have so much holiday stuff that it overflows and takes up more space. On the bottom levels of the shelving units my mom has stored some photo albums, but in order to access those you have to dig through the mountain of timely decorations in front of it. 

I understand most of my argument consists of laziness more than anything. However, I believe that the holiday spirit is enhanced by the people you surround yourself with during the season, and is not dependent on how much you’ve decked the halls. A giant Christmas tree with tens of keepsake ornaments, garland covering the staircase railing, and the nativity scene atop the mantle will not solve family issues that get reignited at every major gathering. Holiday cheer can be spread in other ways — perhaps a kind deed for a neighbor or extended family member. Maybe sending out holiday cards or a text to a friend that hasn’t reached out in a while. But what I know for certain is that I’d rather spend my time with people whom I dearly care about instead of trying to distract myself with bright lights for the sake of “holiday cheer.”