Photo courtesy of Kenneth Dowdy
With Halloween in the past and the temperature dropping, the winter season is approaching fast. There is a debate on whether or not the winter holiday season has actually come yet.
A survey taken by York Community High School students reported that 34% of students believe that the winter holiday season starts November 1st, and the other 66% think that it starts after Thanksgiving. However, it is not just the students that have reservations as to when to hang their stockings. Even the teachers of York think winter cannot start until Thanksgiving has passed.
“We decorate [for Christmas] in December definitely after Thanksgiving,” math teacher Nancy Mordini said. “One holiday at a time.”
Despite the consensus that the winter holiday season cannot start until Thanksgiving has passed, this year has been rather different than years past. COVID-19 has changed almost all aspects of life, including people’s emotions, friends, habits and especially how and when they celebrate their holidays.
“Normally I’m a traditionalist, it always is after Thanksgiving,” social studies teacher Kenneth Dowdy said. “However this year I put lights up early because it helps to spread some cheer during these tough times.”
With strongly advised stay-at-home orders, many people feel down about limiting their celebration. So, in hopes that the holidays would bring some cheer, many decided to start their traditions early. These traditions remind them of all of their good memories from past years.
“Generally I like to put up old-fashioned retro ceramic lights (C9),” Dowdy said. “They remind me of the holidays when I would visit my grandparents as a kid.”
Once school lets out in December, almost everyone in York’s community celebrates some sort of holiday. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice or even Festivus, a secular winter holiday that, along with his Christmas festivities, is celebrated by Dowdy. With all these reasons-for-the-season combined with new COVID-19 restrictions, traditions of all kinds face changes.
“We usually go to my grandparents’ house a couple of days after Christmas and celebrate with my cousins,” junior Ciara Belfiore said. “Because of COVID-19, that isn’t really possible this year.”
Traditions centered around family gatherings must be swapped with other traditions like listening to your favorite holiday music, eating all the delicious food and many other COVID-19 safe activities we can still look forward to doing this holiday season.
“Some of my winter traditions include watching the Detroit Lions lose on Thanksgiving and having a nice prime rib dinner on Christmas Eve,” Dowdy said. “As well as watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Christmas day of course!”