Ali's Adventures

November 2, 2011

Is it time for Christmas Lights?

Filed under: Social Media — by Alison @ 10:40 am

Now that it’s November the discussion of when is it too early to decorate for Christmas has begun. I understand that retailers start their Christmas activities early as this is a big time of the year, and can impact their entire year’s profitability. I don’t have any issues with that. I like Christmas decorations in stores, I like the pine and cinnamon smells, I like the music. Overall, I enjoy Christmas and most of the hoopla that goes along with it.

With our dark and dreary winters, I really like Christmas lights. In fact, I think we should rebrand them as winter lights and keep them on until the snow melts. There’s nothing like trudging home from the bus after a long day to a nicely glowing house. But I realize there are limits, we turn on our Christmas lights on November 25th. I can usually justify it as being close to the First Sunday of Advent, the start of the liturgical Christmas season. And we turn them off in mid-January. As they aren’t actually removed from the house until the snow melts, I turn them on for my birthday in late March (and on days I feel are too gray)

I noticed an odd trend to comments about Christmas and starting Christmas prep on Twitter. People were saying that we need to wait until November 12th to be respectful. That lights shouldn’t be turned on because it would be disrespectful to Veterans. I’m not sure I understand the logic. I don’t see the relation between Christmas lights and Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day commemorates Canadians who have died in service and shows appreciation for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. Veterans Affairs Canada supports Veterans Week from November 5-11, and provides a list of activities that you can do to “remember and honour our Veterans” ( The activities include:

  • Wearing a poppy.
  • Attending  a Remembrance Day ceremony.
  • Talking to those who have returned from areas of conflict or listen to Veterans share their memories.

They also suggest social media avenues of Remembrance, such as tweeting about how you remember, sharing how you remember on the Veterans Affairs Facebook page, using a poppy as your profile picture, or sharing blog posts about remembrance.

These all seem like very tangible ways to show respect to Veterans and members of our Canadian Forces. Also, none of these are things that would be diminished if I turned on my Christmas lights tomorrow.

November is a month of many celebrations in my house, a big one being my son’s birthday on the 10th. We will be celebrating his birthday a day late this year, due to my husband’s travel schedule. This will not lessen our remembrance, and will not impact on the ways we chose to remember the sacrifice made by Canadians.

So I say, plug in your Christmas lights when you’re ready and on November 11th take a minute to reflect and remember.


  1. Totally agree! Great post!

    Comment by Lara — November 2, 2011 @ 12:18 pm |Reply

  2. I haven’t heard that about Remembrance day. I would love to rebrand them to winter lights!

    Comment by Brie — November 2, 2011 @ 1:15 pm |Reply

  3. That’s the first I heard of the no lights, but then growing up, my household wasn’t that early in preparations.

    Comment by Krista - The Tech Mom — November 2, 2011 @ 4:40 pm |Reply

  4. Love this post. And you have an excellent point about the lights and our Canadian winters! What a great way to brighten the long nights.

    Comment by Sasha — November 3, 2011 @ 12:20 pm |Reply

  5. I was thinking about this the other day too. I have a couple of theories, but I don’t know if they’re based in fact, not being from here. In a way, I think the respect question has to do with allowing vets to have their day without other distractions. But they are separate and unrelated events/topics, so that doesn’t hold a lot of weight.

    My other theory has to do with timing. in the U.S., Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, so we have the perfect milestone to shoot for to decorate – usually just about a month before Christmas. Some people will have some Christmas decorations up for Thanksgiving, but I think most wait until after the holiday. Canada’s only pre-Christmas holiday is Remembrance Day. So, to avoid getting decoration burnout, people try to encourage waiting until after that day. I’m not at all sure it has much to do with honouring vets as much as it is to delay the onslaught.

    We do wait until after November 11th intentionally, but only because we feel that’s too early for decorations. I get tired of looking at them. The lights don’t bother me, so I’m all for re-branding them winter lights. But I gotta admit I wish that the actual Christmas decor was gone from front lawns by the end of January. I get Christmas burnout. 😉

    Comment by Karen — November 4, 2011 @ 2:14 pm |Reply

    • I agree that the two events are completely unrelated, and one doesn’t need to impact on the other. If the actual concern is that it’s too early for Christmas lights that’s a whole other discussion.
      Also, when I first read your comment I thought you were saying that you wanted the Christmas decor removed from “your” lawn. I was planning on adding your house to our Christmas tour of lights 😉

      Comment by Alison — November 4, 2011 @ 8:08 pm |Reply

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