The first of the very important Christmas dates is the day that officially begins the Christmas season for most people and that is Thanksgiving Day. Many people complain that Thanksgiving is getting overrun by Christmas but it has always been that Thanksgiving Day heralds the beginning of the Christmas season and I honestly have not seen that change much in many years. If Thanksgiving Day was not meant as the official start to Christmas then why is Santa Claus in all of the important Thanksgiving Day parades? I rest my case. Thanksgiving Day gives way, and in many cases just runs right into, the next important Christmas date and that is referred to as Black Friday. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving as is the biggest shopping day of the year. It used to be that Black Friday would start around 9am and everyone would rush to the stores to get their shopping done. Lately Black Friday has been starting as early as 4am in some places and even as early as midnight! Many people do their Thanksgiving Dinner and then catch a quick nap in anticipation of getting the great deals at the Black Friday sales. You better get there when it opens though or else you won’t be getting any deals.
The next important Christmas date is my own personal milestone for the season and that is December 1. By December 1 you need to either have your decorations up, inside and outside, or you are starting to put them up to be finished within the first week of December. Christmas decorations take a long time to put up so get them out early for everyone to enjoy. Why should you do all of that work for decorations that may only be up for a couple of weeks? Have them up by December 1 and keep them up until at least January 2. I think this is where a lot of people go wrong with Christmas and causes people to not fully enjoy the season like they should. Give it a whole month and your attitude will change.
Aside from December 25th itself there is no Christmas date more important than December 24th, Christmas Eve. This is usually when family from out of town starts showing up, when the Christmas dinner starts getting prepared, and even when some families open their Christmas gifts. Another wonderful tradition is Christmas Eve mass at your local church. Some people only go to church on Christmas Eve and that is okay as long as you go at least once. There is something revitalizing about a wonderful Christmas Eve mass.