Adding Sparkle to Holiday Season’s Gray Area

     The Thanksgiving vs. Christmas debate is forever to remain unsettled. The question is as impossible as apple cider vs. hot chocolate or pumpkin vs. apple pie. Everyone has their own opinion that cannot be labeled right or wrong. Yet Christmas and Thanksgiving both deserve to be celebrated. After all, the term “holiday cheer” was invented to unite that warm, fuzzy feeling of both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

     The only question that matters is how to balance both of these important holidays with such close proximity to each other. Balancing them requires taking a better look at the time in between. If you approach the transition period just right, the gray area right after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas season can also be a time of cheer.

     The most notable feature of the transition period is Christmas decorations. The question, “When do Christmas lights go up?” receives various heated responses. Some insist on eating Thanksgiving dinner with their Christmas lights shining, while others are convinced putting up lights before Thanksgiving is an abomination.

     Faced with this heavily-debated question because I like decorating my room to a small extent, I have personally found a happy medium: fairy lights. Stringing fairy lights gives just the right amount of festivity for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

     As opposed to typical Christmas lights, fairy lights create a softer light and have a daintier string, allowing for an easier set up and a more aesthetic result. Putting them over a bed or another cozy spot creates a perfect place to curl up in a blanket and especially with a twinkling setting, enjoy the crisp weather and holiday spirit.

     In general, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid going overboard on Thanksgiving decorations that will not serve well during the Christmas season. By no means should one hold back, but buying a multitude of bright orange pumpkins quickly loses its appeal once Michael Buble’s Christmas album starts playing. Perhaps opting for a few white pumpkins instead could help ease the transition from one holiday to the other and skip the awkward no-decoration stage.

     Another way to smooth the transition is through your fashion. In Texas, a shortage of cold weather year-round typically prevents an expanded winter wardrobe. Kate Janson ‘20, a fashion blogger, said, “I usually keep it simple for fall and winter.”

 Janson recommends having a good pair of jeans. Making sure the jeans go with anything, fit well and look good is key. Finding a few long-sleeve tops or sweaters that pair with the jeans and/or a few skirts will give you plenty of options for outfits.

     Simple pieces you can mix and match give the most options in terms of outfit variety throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Not only does it simplify your closet, but having less core pieces means one can invest in more expensive (ergo, warmer) garments. Buying a warm jacket or coat will serve you well as the temperature dips lower and lower.

     “A cute jacket is a good staple to throw on over anything,” Janson added.

     Everyone has an activity they look forward to most with each approaching holiday. When thinking of Thanksgiving activities, I think of football, hayrides and bonfires. When thinking of Christmas activities, I think of ice skating, carriage rides and gift exchanges. But in between, there is usually a gray area I cannot remember as clearly.

     However, why not make that time have memorable activities too? For me, the holiday season is perfectly embodied when I am baking. After the kitchen is cleared from Thanksgiving dinner prep, attempting to bake cookies from scratch (or attempting to bake anything at all) would be a fun activity to pass the time between the holidays. Perhaps make it a personal challenge to master a certain recipe by Christmas.

     The time between winter’s two holidays is known as the most wonderful time of the year for a reason. Whether you prefer Thanksgiving or Christmas, enjoying every moment of the holiday season builds up the best of memories.

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