Couple decorating for Christmas early Does the trend of starting Christmas early detract from the day itself and muddy the reason we’re supposed to be celebrating?

The following sermon was submitted by ULC minister Bethany Spencer. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to

As I was taking down my Halloween decorations a couple weeks ago, I decided to turn on the radio. That’s when it happened. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey came blaring across the room. I almost couldn’t believe my ears… who decided this was okay?

Last time I checked the calendar, Christmas is scheduled for the end of December. It’s not a pre-Thanksgiving holiday. And it’s certainly not a right-after-Halloween celebration. And yet, it seems as though every year the “official start” of Christmas season comes a little bit earlier.

Am I the only one who thinks treating an important religious holiday like a presidential primary schedule – dragging it further and further forward to capitalize on being the first to start – detracts from the meaning of the day itself and the reason we’re supposed to be celebrating?

I've never considered joining the military, but if a local militia was marching for the front lines of the War on Christmas I might just join them. 

Mariah Mania

Clearly, Mariah Carey fans don’t see any problem with the status quo. The singer, and this earworm song of hers, are more popular than ever… and some corporate interests are eyeing it as a juicy opportunity to boost profits. McDonald’s recently announced it’s featuring a “Mariah Menu” full of Christmas deals for a limited time this holiday season.

There remain some brave heroes willing to put up a fight, though. A bar in Texas put a ban on playing “All I Want for Christmas is You” until December 1st, with a maximum one play per day after that. Someone posted about the policy on Twitter, and if you don’t fully understand how strong this zeitgeist is, just look at the replies.

But Mariah Carey is just one example of how deep this push for an early Christmas goes.

O, So Soon?

Every year, Oprah publishes a “favorite things” list to give people holiday gift ideas. In 2019, it was released on November 8. Last year, on November 6. This year it was published the day after Halloween, November 1, earlier than ever before.

Do we really need to be buying Christmas gifts nearly two months before the day? Never too early to start spending money, is it? This creeping commercialization is taking over what ought to be a time for reflecting, giving back, and spending time with loved ones… not to mention celebrating the birth of Christ (for those of us who honor the religious aspects of this holiday).

The Future of Christmas: Spending?

Unfortunately, if you’ve been to the supermarket recently, you’ll know that this battle may already be lost. Without fault, around this time each year, entire sections of shelves get a big Christmas makeover to display the latest and greatest Christmas décor items, seasonal gifts, and holiday treats.

The commercial parts of this supposedly-sacred holiday seem like they’re here to stay. That is, so long as people keep spending money on Santa-themed doormats, Rudolph cookie trays, and whatever other items that Christmas-worshipping consumers will turn out their pocketbooks for.

Am I the only one who's sad to see Christmas become so ubiquitous, diluted of meaning, and commercialized to the point of exhaustion? 


  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    There's nothing wrong when is Christmas and there's nothing wrong with putting decorations up before Christmas or putting a Christmas tree up or other fun stuff like that it's called people are fuddy-duddies

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      nobody is saying you cant put up decorations before Christmas, what people are getting tired of is they start putting up Halloween items on Sept 2, start putting up Xmas items well before Christmas, Right along the lines of a week before thanksgiving.

      Keep the holidays in their lanes and you wont hear people complain. For instance dont start your Xmas sales until after Thanksgiving and so on and so forth. I mean you already have swimsuits and shorts on sale in Feb for crying out loud and the weather isnt going to be warm enough to actually wear these for at least another 60 to 90 days so why bother?

    2. Br'er George's Avatar Br'er George

      I second YOU Cindy!

      Krampus gonna give the Anti-Clauses coal in their stockings!

      Ho! Ho! Ho! For SANTA!

      Happy Holidays!

      Merry Christmas!

      Gimmee my eggnog by the fire in front of the tree with some chestnuts early as you want!

    3. Lucy Carrasquillo's Avatar Lucy Carrasquillo

      Read the 10 commandments, again. Idolatry is against God's rules for our lives.

  1. Gary Richard Noce's Avatar Gary Richard Noce

    I have come to ignor this early push for Christmas. I believe it is done buy business to get as much money in sale for as long as they can get it. I celebrate each Holiday as it comes and not anytime sooner. I've ALWAYS felt Thanksgiving gets the "short end of the stick." It would be nice if business would see the value of Thanksgiving and leave out the old story about the coming together Native Americans and the Europeans. Especially when I feel the Native Americans had little choice in the matter.
    It would be really nice if it could be a Holiday to be thankful for family and friends. And a focus on those that have less. Maybe our Nation would heal its divisions and become whole again.

  1. Stephanie A Willey's Avatar Stephanie A Willey

    I've been watching Christmas themed TV ad's since the week before Halloween and I find that unacceptable on so many levels. Why don't we have the month of November filled with Thanksgiving Day themed ad's? I personally consider "Turkeyday" a more significant holiday observance and celebrate it with family and friends in a real sense of thankfulness, as I / we have come to believe the day is supposed to be. This is how my family and extended families have observed Thanksgiving for decades. If I were "The Queen", I would ban Christmas themes AND music until the Sunday after Thanksgiving and after December 31st.

    1. Woodrow's Avatar Woodrow

      It starts in the summer on Hallmark Channel.

  1. arawngraalrd's Avatar arawngraalrd

    Christmas is not the anniversary of the Birth of Jesus, but of the arrival of the Three Zoroatrian Magoi, who brought all those princely gifts to the Toddler Jesus, the Son of Mary, Handmaiden of Sophia, who'd been School-Marm of Solomon Davidson, on the Second Christmas Eve BC. A year later, Herod realized the three wise-guys had never told him which kid to murder, and it took a week to organize The Martyrdom Of The Innocents, thus beginning A.D. 1. Jesus had actually been born Late September, of 3 B.C., when young shepherds were laying in Fields, as opposed to Pasteurs.
    The Official Beginning of The Christmas Season is the end of The Macy's Day Parade, when Santa arrives. For those working in the Department Store Stockrooms, the season begins in August. The Ministry unto The Spirit of Giving is holy unto Jews and Seasonal Labor, and even Santa is celebrated by the former, although Jesus is seen more as Prodigal Kin. Thus Christmas Jingles should not afflict us until Macy's Day Afternoon, and T'Day Jingles should celebrate Generocity in Hard Season. Where are the T'Day Jingles?

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    Axial Tilt! It's the reason for the season.

    Literally. That's why so many religions had a mid winter holiday festival. The days start again to get longer.

    So if you want to celebrate with a tree and music (but you are right about that ear worm) as early as you want, I say go for it. Commercialization is what drives this economy. And it gets the added bonus of letting you feel good about helping the less fortunate with food banks, toy drives, etc. Then you can go back to not caring after the holidays are over.

  1. Lucy Carrasquillo's Avatar Lucy Carrasquillo

    Rabbi Jonathan Cahn extensively researched the date of Christ's birth, and we've been wrong fir too many decades. According to the Jewish calendars of old and historical data,, Jesus was born in the month of Nisan...when compared to our calendar is the month of April. Rabbi Cahn says April 4th which usually is the Jewish month for Passover. Jesus was crucified in the month of Nisan, during the slaughter of the lambs as He was/is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Therefore, this argument is useless when there's data that proves otherwise. As a true Christian, I biblically recognize Harvest Time, honor Holy week and Resurrection Day. I daily celebrate Jesus the rest of the year fir all He's done and continues to do. I'd rather be right with God and His Word, than stand before Him on judgement day and He say, I don't know you. As long as I've got Jesus on my side for being obedient to His Word, I'm never alone.

    1. Reverend Gary's Avatar Reverend Gary

      Lucy is on track, you go Ms. Carrasquillo! It is my understanding that when Christianity was spreading like a plague the Romans, most threatened by this, embraced the concept and modified Jesus's birthday to coincide with an existing ritual, the biggest of the Roman Empire, which was held in late December. We have done the very same thing with the birthdays of past presidents, once celebrated on their actually birthday. Now moved to be on "Presidents Day" or set on a specific Friday or Monday to make them always on one end or the other of a weekend creating a three day holiday rather than having a day off some day mid week or on a weekend. Always done to benefit the government most, just as was done in the Roman Empire.

      We are all Gods of the same Universe . . . .

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      It doesn’t matter how long Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has studied or researched the date of Jesus’s birth, there is still no real empirical evidence Jesus ever existed. It’s possible he did, or there were many like him at that time, but still very little evidence. Perhaps you’ve got some real evidence? If you have you can list it here. The same goes for any god. No one has yet proved any exists.


      1. Lucy Carrasquillo's Avatar Lucy Carrasquillo

        Then, why be part of this group disrespecting God in this way? YOU do the research and prove us wrong!

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          How can I disrespect something that no one has proved is real Luci? That's like me saying you disrespect fairies if you say you don't believe in them. Can you see how silly that is?

          As a free-thinker, and secular humanist, I am totally happy to believe in your god, or any god, if any can be proved to exist. I am equally happy to believe in fairies, leprechauns, and Sasquach if there is any demonstrable evidence to show they are real.

          I guess I could try using the same research that you used to prove all the other religious gods worshipped on earth aren't real. How did you do that? Just asking for a friend of another religion that you don't believe in.


    3. Angelique D. Chelton's Avatar Angelique D. Chelton

      Wait- so as a "true Christian" 🙄- you actually think God will damn people for celebrating Christmas too early? Gimme a break. I'm glad I don't believe God is that petty.

  1. Lucy Carrasquillo's Avatar Lucy Carrasquillo

    PS we are all children of the God who created the universe and us. Also. Pentecost is another day to honor our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      There is actually no demonstrable evidence to support your claim but thank you for your comment.

      1. Lucy Carrasquillo's Avatar Lucy Carrasquillo

        Prove It! Bring forth your claim! In Jesus's Name and before God, the Father!

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          My claim is that no one has proved any god is real Luci. I apologize if that is incorrect, and if it is, perhaps you can point me in the direction of the evidence showing your god is real, and all the other gods that people worship are not.

          Thank you in the name of Grindelwald, and Dumbledore, (Spoiler alert: Just in case you are wondering, these are also fictional characters like yours that appear to also not exist)


  1. Reverend Gary's Avatar Reverend Gary

    Get used to it, it is called commercialization. Every day each person is assaulted by over 5,000 advertisements, all of them created to cause you to BUY SOMETHING. Most times something you do not need and will never use. If you disagree it is your choice to not participate. I have not for decades. Once you get in your own personal state of mind, it no longer bothers you, it does not matter and you can blissfully go about your life as you want.

    We are all Gods of the same Universe . . . and therefore omnipotent, Creator in your own creation.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Who decided Christmas should start this early? Why the Christian merchants. Christmas is ALL about getting as many people to spend as much money as they can and there’s a bit or religion with it.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    @ Lucy Carrasquillo we are all made of stardust and will become stardust.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Just how do you think you will be stardust when you are going to be BURIED under the earth or on the earth and unless the earth explodes into atoms, that is where you are going to stay.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        What's going to happen to us once or orbit decays into our Sun? Earth will not explode as you suggest it will melt.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          Um sorry but it wont melt, it will be destroyed in fire. The Sun will expand out to well past the orbit of mars and anything between it and that will be exploded by the heat, it wont have time to melt.

          1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

            Ummm talk to your Physics teacher. There will be a massive amount of radiation which will melt the molecules combined with the pressure.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              Ummm talk to your own teacher since you clearly failed physics. You have a massive shock wave that will hit the earth far sooner then the heat will. The shock wave will destroy the earth long before the heat from the expanding star does. All you have to do to see this in action is watch a simple explosion and you will see the shock wave flies out faster then anything else.

              Try again

  1. Gerardo Salazar's Avatar Gerardo Salazar

    On the night of 24 to 25 December it is celebrated in the West the birth of Christ. But it was not always so and today it is not in the whole Christian world; until the fourth century it was celebrated on January 6 and it continues so in the east, among the Orthodox.

    The winter solstice occurs on December 25th; It is the time when in the northern hemisphere the days are shorter and the nights are longest. But from this moment the day begins to grow and "dies natalis solis invicti" “the birthday of the unconquered sun", is celebrated on this day .

    That invincible sun is the god Mithra, whose worship and devotion competed with Christianity with which has certain similarities. (

    I find the whole concept of transforming a religious festivity into an orgy of shopping and expending outright atrocious. Families used to celebrate together and attend religious services on Christmas Eve but nowadays spirituality has been erased by merchants and all we have is a fat chap with a pathetic false beard leading children to become consumers. Very sad indeed.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Far too early should really start beginning of Dec not before

  1. AetherAgent's Avatar AetherAgent

    All my life I've told people how I hate that people only celebrate Christmas once a year; that it should be celebrated every single day. But I was referring to the loving, the forgiveness, the joy, the tolerance and understanding, the sharing and generosity. It seemed that the spirit of Christmas evaporated like dew in the desert come Dec 26.

    But putting up lawn decorations has always felt a bit pretentious. It seems to miss the point. These days, the spirit that used to come in Dec is so diluted, it feels no different that the rest of the year. The spirit of the day hasn't flowed out to the rest of the year; rather the blase demeanor of the daily grind has overwhelmed that one special day.

    And it's not just Christmas. Thanksgiving and Halloween are following the same pattern, arriving earlier superficially while becoming more superficial in the heart.

    It's not that way everywhere. I'm also seeing a different pattern. In the community where I live, my childhood dream is manifesting. There are no decorations on the lawns and few inside. By contrast, people are so filled with love and gratitude, it sometimes feels like it is exploding.

    I see small pockets of this new wave of Christmas spirit -- or, more properly, Christ spirit -- showing up all over the world and growing rapidly. I see politicians, a class I once felt to be totally corrupt, rising up against all the corruption. I've seen police becoming less dominating and more forgiving. I see religious adherents becoming less bigoted and hypocritical and expressing the true, deeper meaning of their chosen religion.

    We've been through the darkness and the storm. Now it's time for the dawning of a new day, a new world. It's the world we've all been waiting for. And it's arriving because we are the ones ushering it in. As the Hopi tradition says, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      I guess where I live Christmas is celebrated every day as you suggest. Every day new decorations are spray painted on the side of buildings, streets, and anything else that can be spray painted.

  1. Shango MasterExorcist, D.D.'s Avatar Shango MasterExorcist, D.D.

    25 December is on of the 8 official Wicca celebration. November 1 is a different Wicca celebration. Anybody starting Christmas on November 1 needs an Exorcism.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      That would be all of the stores in America. By November 1st they are fully celebrating Christmas... It's a money maker.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    I don't want to hear or see anything Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. Enjoy each holiday, in its' own time.

  1. Bishop William Dusenberry, DD's Avatar Bishop William Dusenberry, DD

    Most (if not a All) of the thousands of various tribal-based religions have something akin to “creation myths” — and as Christians call the Greek stories about how humankind began “Greek Myths” — we Secular Humanist Pantheists, however, call the stories Christians concocted about where their founder (Saul, who became Paul) came from “Christian Mythology.”

    In other words, one’s true mythology trumps another’s true mythology, which means that the creation myths one has, are mostly determined by the accident of birth.

    As neither the Jews, nor the Romans ever knew anything of the Christian Jesus - what is commonly known about the myth of Jesus’ birth, was initially first written down hundreds of years after the assumed event.

    The Roman Catholics calculated that for a Jesus to have been born in the time of Herod, he’d have to have been born in 4 BCE, sometime in the spring — because sheep weren’t out grazing, in the Bethlehem region, in the winter — but were in the spring.

    Surprisingly, now the biggest supporters of the birth of Christian mythology, are the atheistic Chinese communists, who make so much money selling the USA Christians X-Mas gifts, that they can build their military to the point that it might well be the most powerful on Earth,

    So the possibility that the USA’s eventual decline and fall, will be due to USA’ns buying X-Mass gifts from atheistic communistic China.

    How ironic.

    The USA appears to be committing military power suicide, by purchasing Communistic China X-Mass gifts.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    My favorite holiday is Halloween I keep my Halloween decorations up all year long I just added different decorations pictures of Halloween decorations for example this year I am doing The Nightmare Before Christmas theme but it shouldn't matter who wants to put their decorations up and when they want to put their decorations up there is no Pacific time and no rule saying that you can put it up at a certain time I'm a pagan High Priestess witch I love decorating all the time

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      We never took our tree down, it’s been up all through the year decorated as a spring tree, summer tree, fall tree, and soon to be, a Christmas tree once again.


  1. Kent Lacey's Avatar Kent Lacey

    Many of us remember back when holiday shopping and gathering together was done at the proper times. But, yes the dates have creeping earlier for at least 20 years now. I don't participate - I can walk by all that out of season crap and buy zero. If everyone did that the stores would think twice. But the reality is "the people" are spending their money and the stores are happy. These are the same "people" who get to vote at election time. No wonder the pool of elected politicians is embarrassing. It must be something they are putting in the drinking water that causes the dumbing down of Americans.

  1. Angelique D. Chelton's Avatar Angelique D. Chelton

    Oh my goodness- LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE! If they want to celebrate Christmas in September, what business is that of yours? Let people have a little joy in the world. Focus on issues that actually matter like racism and LGBTQ oppression and things that ACTUALLY matter.

    This "Keep Christmas in its place" ridiculousness is JUST as bad as the "War on Christmas" non-issue. It just doesn't matter.

    Let people find joy where they can find it and mind ya own business.

  1. Gary Richard Noce's Avatar Gary Richard Noce

    I ignore the early Christmas push. I believe it's caused by the retailers wanting to get as much money in sale as soo and for as long as they can. I celebrate each Holiday in the order in which the come. I've ALWAYS felt Thanksgiving has recieved the "short end of the stick." It was hard to find celibitory items for Thanksgiving.
    I also wish Thanksgiving would stop adding the fake story about the Native Americans. They had no choice but to comply with the Europeans. We would be better off making it a day to be thankful for family and friends and opening our hearts to those whom have less!!!

  1. Walter Riggs's Avatar Walter Riggs

    This has been a common complaint among those who love to complain (or get paid to complain) for as long as I can remember. There's even an old Peanuts comic about it. If the start of Christmas "starting" had been walked back as long as people have been whining about it, then spring break would start the Christmas Season.

  1. John Casillo's Avatar John Casillo

    As the song goes....."And so this is Christmas"......Rev john

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    There’s an old saying “You can always tell when Christmas is getting close, they start selling Easter eggs in the shops” 😳


  1. P. Keith Benefiel's Avatar P. Keith Benefiel

    "Angels we have heard on high, telling us go out and buy God rest ye merry gentlemen, ye make the yuletide pay Hark! the herald angels sing, advertising wondrous things" -Tom Lehrer 1962

  1. Thomas Edwin Peterson's Avatar Thomas Edwin Peterson

    Nothing wrong with being a detractor of celebrating Christmas by wasting money and frillivous actions. Although remembering christ mas and to do good and celebrate family and special friends whomever they are should be first in our minds.

    1. Thomas Edwin Peterson's Avatar Thomas Edwin Peterson

      I did type Christ thanks tom

  1. Kathryn Darcy Smith's Avatar Kathryn Darcy Smith

    “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey is the most OVERPLAYED TRASH I've ever heard! I literally smash at my radio buttons trying to turn off the radio if I hear it come one... it is HORRIBLE! YES I'M GEN X! I like Bing, and Gene, and Burl and all the CLASSICS!

    MOVING ON from sh!tty music, my local stores were FLOODED with Christmas spew WAAAAAY before HALLOWEEN!!! It TOTALLY killed my joy of Christmas and the corporate greed that has diseased the holiday has done it in for me. I don't even want to get out the tree. Even my BIRTHDAY is on Christmas Eve and I don't even care. I have ZERO sh!ts to give this year.

    Spiritually, it's a VERY VERY STOLEN holiday and NOT ORIGINAL IN ANY WAY as the Christians stole ideas of the birth and related events from MANY other well established pre-Christians faiths in order to fulfill their lust for money and power over the masses.

    Prove me wrong.

  1. Phil Harold Barberg's Avatar Phil Harold Barberg

    Christmas has become another marketing event for retailers. When I worked for a major mall the stores were prohibited from using Christmas displays until AFTER Thanksgiving. Now we have Christmas displays before Thanksgiving. These retailers don't care about Christmas. It's just another marketing event to put up pretty lights and play Christmas music to get shoppers to buy early. I often inform the stores of my displeasure at their marketing.. Soon we will have Christmas displays up along with the Halloween pumpkins. I try to boycott these stores which not not respect the meaning of Christmas.

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