That is the question that comes up around my house this time of year. Should we put up our Christmas tree before or after Thanksgiving?

Apparently, this is a question that a lot of people debate over. And with every debate comes a plethora of different opinions.

There are those that believe putting up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving is JUST WRONG. Thanksgiving de- serves its rightful time to shine. Christmas trees shouldn’t overshadow Thanksgiving turkey, red and green ornaments shouldn’t outshine the cranberries and homemade pumpkin pies.   

Then there are those that feel putting up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving is a way to enjoy the splendor of twinkling lights and the joy of the season just a little bit longer. The earlier the tinsel and holly, the better. Nothing wrong with enjoying the beautiful glow of Christmas tree lights while feasting on a Thanksgiving meal. Bring on the bling!

I’m fairly adamant about putting up our Christmas tree on Saturday, following Thanksgiving. I love the idea of being able to enjoy my fall decorations that bode so well with all of our traditions of turkey and all the fixin’s. And to be honest, most of the time, my house has been the family gathering place for Thanksgiving, so I’ve always been careful to make sure there is plenty of room for everyone, meaning the Christmas tree usually has to wait and make its grand entrance after Thanksgiving.

However, this year is shaping up a little different. With the ongoing pandemic, the idea of a house full of people has been mulled over and discussed in great length. Many family members have decided to stay put and not travel, so it’s looking as if it will be a much smaller gathering than years past. Which brings me to the question…if I don’t need extra space for chairs, should I put up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving?  Decisions, decisions!

I will have to admit, I did start a little early this year. My TV has been on the Hallmark Channel since November 1, and my radio station in my car has been set to the Hallmark Channel on XM radio since last week. I couldn’t help myself. I needed a break from all the drama unfolding. I know, I know, to play Christmas music or not to play Christmas music before December 1 is an entirely different debate for another day...just sayin’.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, whether you’re putting up your Christmas tree, or not, we should all consider the many blessings we have been given. As we gather around the table, as we enjoy the food and fellowship, as we watch football and parades, as we share stories and experiences, we are to be grateful for all of these wonderful benefits.

I think we forget way too often the reason why we observe Thanksgiving in the first place. It’s a day we celebrate to give thanks, as the Pilgrims once did by thanking God for the bounty which He had blessed them with. They prepared a glorious feast, out of gratitude and gratefulness for their abundant harvest that would help them survive through the long winter months. After enduring so many hardships pioneering a new land, they set aside a day of thanksgiving and gathered with family, friends and neighbors to proclaim their thankfulness to God.

For me, I realize that it’s not the material things I am most thankful for, it’s my family, my church family, my friends and neighbors, and my faith that God has blessed me, not because of anything I have done, but because of His promise, and because of His mercy.

No matter your opinion of whether it’s proper to tree or not to tree before Thanksgiving, we can all agree that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for.

So, if putting up a Christmas tree before the turkey hits the table makes you happy, then do it and be thankful. If it’s waiting until after Thanksgiving, then that’s ok too. It’s whatever makes us happy. And, after the year we’ve gone through, I think we’ll take all the cheer and happy we can get!

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