Christmas Before Thanksgiving


The day after Halloween is one of the most disappointing days of the year for me. I get in my car and flip the radio station to 102.1, wishing with all my heart I’ll hear some “Jingle Bell Rock” or “Silent Night.” It never plays.

I’m a Christmas person all year round and I know I’m not alone. But I’m also aware of the people who are strictly “after Thanksgiving” Christmas-goers. I understand the logic behind only listening to Christmas carols after Thanksgiving. Maybe you don’t want to hear those overplayed songs more than you have to or you don’t want to ruin the month of December by being annoyed that the radio is playing that song again. I was just like you, and couldn’t even speak of the holidays until I’d eaten my fill of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.

Three years ago, I got my first job, working at a local Christmas tree farm. The first week I spent there was in blazing 90 degree heat. Clearly, those conditions do not describe winter here in Weedsport, New York.  It got so hot one August afternoon, my partner and I laid down on the ground and snipped at the trees with our remaining energy. Just as we thought the sun would spare nothing but our bones, we heard the hum of the tractor chugging up the hill.  (It took longer than usual to find us because we were sprawled in the dirt, out of sight)  Despite the heat and sweat of summer, there was an unmistakable smell of pine in the air.

That smell is there all year round and you are always surrounded by Christmas trees, and whether they have bees buzzing around them, are cold and wet from a spring rain or are covered in a soft blanket of snow, they are still Christmas trees to me.

My favorite time to be around the farm is winter.  At Christmas time the barn seems to be right out of a fairy tale, a completely different place than in the sweltering heat of summer. Wreaths line the once empty walls. Winter gloves and hats cover us up instead of our old cut off t-shirts and ripped up work jeans. Cheery faces and rosy cheeks shuffle in and out of the doors. Over all the bustle and crackle of the woodstove, Christmas music plays and I can still smell the pine trees.

All the extra time I spend at the tree farm, working through all seasons, I long for Christmas. I want to warm my hands up by the wood stove and sip hot chocolate while people search for the perfect tree: the most important decoration in the house. When I hear Christmas music it reminds me of a wonderful place and a wonderful time which is why for three years now, I’ve turned the radio on with the highest of hopes that those days are just around the corner.

Some of you will never become a Christmas lover like I am, and you have your reasons; but I have mine too. So even if you are not a fan, let me and anyone else who has visions of sugar plums in their heads  before Thanksgiving , listen with the purest kind of happiness that only Christmas can bring.