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Go ahead, put up your Christmas tree

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Don’t be a Grinch

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Tradition dictates that Christmas festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving, not the day after Halloween, but traditions are more malleable than you’d think. Generations ago, kids would celebrate Saint Nicholas on his actual feast day — December 6th — by leaving their shoes outdoors overnight, hoping to find them filled with little presents in the morning. Leaving your children’s shoes outside in December is a terrible idea. Change is good.

So if you feel like decorating for Christmas today, or any day, I encourage you to break with tradition and follow your bliss. You’ve certainly earned it, battling through what legions of Twitter personalities have dubbed “the worst year ever.” And don’t forget: we still have one week of the election cycle left. If what you need to get through the next seven days is the entire Sufjan Stevens Christmas box-set playing on loop, while you hang ornaments and sip hot cocoa, then so be it.

What about Thanksgiving, Chris? You can still celebrate Thanksgiving, friend! After all, Thanksgiving is totally into Christmas. Santa’s appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been, for decades, an informal starting pistol to the holidays season. I assure you that between your family’s Thanksgiving conversations about politics, the NFL, and the complex legacy of the pilgrims, nobody will be put off by your colorful lights display.

One request, though. Use a fake tree — or if you prefer a real tree, hold off for December. Real trees are wont to dry, and dry pine trees are horrifying fire hazards. (I’m serious. Look at this burning tree!)

Fake trees have improved over the past decade, and apparently every store in America got my memo, and decided to stock up before Halloween. You shouldn’t have trouble finding a good option. If you’re considering investing in a fancier fake tree — and why not, it will be on display for a sixth of the year — I recommend Balsam Hill. You can usually find coupons with a Google search or a visit to RetailMeNot.

Even if you don’t decorate for Christmas today, even if you have no desire or need to decorate, I do hope you’ll support your friends who find joy in these harmless, happy celebrations, whether they’re for this holiday or any other. There is no reason to limit the pleasure someone gets from an experience because of an arbitrary conception of when things are and are not seasonal. I’m looking at you, Pumpkin Spice Latte grumps.

You want to decorate for Christmas? Go right ahead! Not that you need permission from me or anyone else.