Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st

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Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st-2

Yes, we decorate for Christmas on November 1st. The real reason may surprise you (and make you re-evaluate a few things).

It was 6 weeks before my deployment, and I had the urge to decorate for Christmas. The day was November 1st.

In just 6 weeks, I’d have to say goodbye to my husband, 6 year old son and 18 month old daughter.

The depression was threatening to creep in, and I needed to find a way to combat it. Christmas was the remedy.

Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st-5

6 Weeks Until Deployment

I vividly remember those 6 weeks. I went on a rampage of gift-purchasing, looking for the best gift ideas I could get my hands on, or make myself.

For each kid, I created a personalized storybook, highlighting how much I loved them and the fun we’d had together over the past year.

For my husband, an encouraging nudge to purchase whatever he needed, or wanted, while I was gone.

The biggest thing I remember are the Christmas decorations, and how placing each piece around our home re-filled my soul.

Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st

That year, we did a cute photo shoot with the kids in front of the tree on November 1st.

Jammies on, Christmas hats placed just so, and a mom who was determined to make memories in a matter of moments.

6 weeks. That’s all I had. That’s all we had. Christmas is what kept my family together.

Christmas Decorations Until March

My husband kept the Christmas decorations up until I came home. From December to March, our little 2 bedroom apartment maintained the spirit of Christmas.

Was it weird? Sure. What is important? Absolutely. When I finally came home, it was like time stood still.

I could bring myself back to the moments I had with my family, before I went to war. I could pretend like I never left.

Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st-3

I’ll admit, we didn’t always keep this tradition of deciding to decorate for Christmas on November 1st.

Once we got back into the groove of living a “normal” life again, we went back to decorating after Thanksgiving.

I’d sneak a few red and gold Christmas pieces into the Thanksgiving decor, just to salvage my urge to go full Santa.

Losing A Loved One Increases The Spirit of Christmas

That all changed when my husband’s grandmother passed away.

Christmas was her favorite time of year, and the first Christmas without her was the hardest one we’ve ever experienced, even more difficult than the aforementioned “deployment Christmas.”

We missed her desperately, and still do today. That next year, my husband and I agreed to decorate as early as we could.

November 1st was the perfect date. While decorating early didn’t fill the hole in our hearts, we felt it brought us closer to her spirit.

We continued it the next year. We’ll continue it until we decide not to, which may never happen.

Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st-4

Here’s what really matters: we don’t care if you don’t understand why we decorate for Christmas on November 1st.

You may love it, you may do it yourself, or you may mutter under your breath “what about Thanksgiving?”

Why We Decorate For Christmas on November 1st

What you’ll never hear from our family is a negating comment about the holiday that means so much to you.

We get why you may go all out for Halloween, or why Independence Day is a holiday cherished by every generation — past and present — in your family.

We celebrate the traditions that are important to your family. We hope you’ll learn to celebrate ours, too.

We decorate for Christmas on November 1st, and we always will.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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12 Comments

  1. 11.2.18

    I barely decorate for Christmas. It only happened last year because my mom and MIL insisted and did it themselves LOL I joke about people setting up so early but I know that everyone has their reason and your is heartbreaking and beautiful! Merry Christmas in November to you!

  2. 11.2.18
    Charity said:

    I love this. No, you didn’t have to explain, but thank you for doing so. Thank you for being vulnerable and letting us see in your hearts. Christmas for me has some complications that make decorating at all very hard. I hate that struggle in me But it is there, so I do my best to follow my daughter’s and husband’s lead and decorate when they want to.

    This post has me in tears.

  3. 11.2.18

    I love this and I appreciate your transparency friend! I don’t understand why people just won’t let other ppl do what makes them happy if it’s nkt hurting anyone. Mind your business! But thank you for sharing this special tradition with us! xoxo

  4. 11.2.18
    Des said:

    Not that you needed to explain why to a single person, but I’m happy to know the back story. You do what gets you through. Periid. Live and let live is my motto.

  5. 11.2.18
    Heather said:

    I love that you decorate early. I love that you have this tradition that you can pass onto your children. The year I was very ill we kept up our decorations until nearly Memorial Day. I wasn’t getting out much and the lights and decorations helped to lift my spirit.

  6. 11.3.18

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I completely understand. ❤

  7. 11.3.18
    Amber said:

    I can so appreciate that “time stood still” moment. As a fellow veteran who spent years away from family, that need to be apart of moments you missed is so strong. I don’t have children. I’d imagine if I had during my time I would’ve done something similar.

    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your service.

  8. 10.31.19
    TONIA said:

    Oh honey I loved you before. but to know that not only have you taught me and hundreds others to be frugal how to do everything happily in which ear in our hearts. But also that you have defended my freedom left your family and that so many don’t value the suffering and the sacrifices that you’ve made just makes me want to reach over there and hug you! I normally am not a early Christmas decorator only because usually either I forget or get distracted from it but I’m not upset or irritated with anybody who does matter fact every time I see a new set of lights going up it gives me just a little bit more in the mood and if the mood happens to be compassion and love charity for our fellow man and by golly I think they can start anytime thank you darling probably you do and have done!

    • 11.3.19
      Amiyrah said:

      Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for these kind words, and for commenting. This just made my day.

  9. 11.1.20
    Gabrielle said:

    More and more reasons why Inlove your blog Amiyah!!

    We typically wait until after my older sons birthday on Dec. 8. I have had this hang-up about his birthday and the holiday being confused and I didn’t wasn’t him to fell like it got lost. So we decorated the day after and “added” it to his birthday celebrations. It made the holiday feel “rushed” in the last 3 weeks of December.

    And then my baby brother passed away two years ago right just days before Christmas. We had a whole family reunion planned because Christmas was his favorite holiday too. I tried to decorate his hospital room at Thanksgiving but he didn’t want me to. He said he wanted to go home for the holiday – we compromised on a string of lights on the ceiling. Cliff was on deployment so many times for Christmas that he missed out entire years of holidays and his way of coping was to just make it like every other day. That Christmas was the worst.

    So last year I broke the tradition of waiting to Thanksgiving and this year we are decorating as soon as we clean up from Halloween. My husband and talked about it and agreed that earlier feels better this year.

    A lovely little extra… Here in Colorado the tradition is to leave Christmas lights up until the end of the Rodeo in Feb. So the whole state keep light up passed the holiday!

  10. 11.1.20
    Susanne said:

    Thank you for sharing.

    I promised my son ( avetran) that I would not decorate until after November 11th (Remembrance day)

    It makes sense to us — then in November the first 11 days of the month are focused on remembering our veterans and the sacrifices they have made for us

    However there have been years when we would know that we will no see our grandkids except for late in October or early in November and I decorate to see the joy on their faces and I remind those who frown that the veterans also fought to give me a choice of whether I celebrate Christmas or not

    Blessings on your November celebration it makes me smile

  11. 11.1.20
    Delois Webb said:

    You are awesome and have so much love for your family , putting up decorations for Christmas and buying gifts, knowing that you will be deployed during the Christmas Holidays. I just wanted to say Thank You for serving your country and GOD Bless You.