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Define 'Almost'.






How long is Christmas time?
Only Christmas day itself.
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
Christmas day, Christmas eve and boxing day.
31%
 31%  [ 9 ]
Three or four days before Christmas.
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
One week before Christmas.
10%
 10%  [ 3 ]
Two weeks before Christmas.
10%
 10%  [ 3 ]
All of December.
13%
 13%  [ 4 ]
From November onwards.
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
October through Decemeber, literally a season long.
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
As soon as Easter ends IT IS ON.
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
Holy ****, there's only 385 sleeps until next Christmas!!1!
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 29

Nameless
It's that time of year again!
It's the season to be jolly!
It's almost Christmas!
It's nearly Christmas!
It's Christmas time again!
I am saying all these lines in obviously mock excitement!

And yet, I can't remember the last time I heard anybody accurately classify these kinds of terms. Christmas itself (thinking of the birth of Jesus and the set public holiday) is only a single day long. Now there's obviously a tendency to take longer periods off work or having minor going celebrations, but they're far less set and not always directly related to Christmas anyway (eg. considering Christmas to New Years as a 'holiday season'.) For the sake of this poll, I'm counting three days - Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing day - as "Christmas" itself.

You'd probably be laughed at if you said it was almost a long weekend a month or more in advance. You'd probably be punched in the face if you started stockpiling supplies for a long weekend two months in advance, but that doesn't stop shops selling Christmas items that early if not earlier.
And we have a word for this season, it's called Summer. Or Winter, you know, hemisphere depending.

Thus today's question: What exactly do you consider to be 'almost' Christmas aka Christmas Time and why?
ocalhoun
*...On the 7th month of Christmas my true love gave to me...*

They do this because they make more money that way.
They make more money because people buy things in response to this.
Solution: DON'T BUY CHRISTMAS STUFF EARLY!

If you stop responding to their marketing, at first the marketing will become even more insistent, then it will stop.
Jinx
I chose "All of December" not because I prep for/anticipate/hold holy/celebrate all month, but because from the moment Thanksgiving is over (actually it starts the weekend before Thanksgiving) people start to drive stupid, and it usually lasts till the next business day after New Years.

I'm a truck driver, and I see people doing some pretty dumb stuff out here on the roads all the time, but the holiday season is the worst. More traffic, people visiting, shopping, drunk, trying to read shopping lists while driving, rude, aggressive (apparently the Christmas spirit doesn't apply if you're driving), talking on cell phones, steadying piles of gifts in the passenger seat while trying to drive one handed, turned around yelling at kids in the back seat, inching down the road with an over-sized evergreen strapped to the top of a sub-compact, and did I mention drunk?

This is the most dangerous time of the year to drive, and I'm not even taking winter storms into account. It's like people's IQs drop 25 points as soon as they finish off the turkey and stay that way till the New Year's champagne hangover has worn off.

I dread this time of year the way I used to gleefully await it's arrival when I was a kid. If I could, I would take the entire month off and not leave the house just to get away from it all.

Oh, and did I mention how much the rampant consumerism annoys the s#!& out of me.

Bah! Humbug!
paskifire
I chose "October through Decemeber, literally a season long." because here in the Philippines, people always look forward to it. If there's an option like "September through December" I would have been cast it as a vote. When "ber" months(September to December) enter, people are very happy to celebrate the coming christmas eve. Very Happy
Nameless
paskifire wrote:
I chose "October through Decemeber, literally a season long." because here in the Philippines, people always look forward to it. If there's an option like "September through December" I would have been cast it as a vote. When "ber" months(September to December) enter, people are very happy to celebrate the coming christmas eve. Very Happy

See, this is the thing. If people define 30% of their lives in relation to a few scarce days of celebration ... It's actually quite sad, when you think about it. Confused
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:

Solution: DON'T BUY CHRISTMAS STUFF EARLY!
I know of people who buy their Xmas presents during Boxing Day for the Xmas in the same year (sort of wisening up of course), and other people who wait for the January sales to buy Xmas presents for the next year. Yet again I know people who buy Xmas presents right through the year when they see bargains, so they would probably fit into Nameless's argument for focussing these efforts right through the year and not only a few days. I also know a number of people who buy candy for Halloween after Halloween and freeze it for the next year.

For me Xmas, psychologically, starts about two weeks before Xmas. One has to have the Xmas tree up for at least that amount of time, and usually it stays up until New Year. We have a tradition in our family where our budgets for gifts are focussed on the children, although we also like to buy small gifts for one another, the idea being the main thing that counts.
anakin_skyrunner
I voted for:
Christmas day, Christmas eve and boxing day.
Smile
tchaunt
I voted for Christmas day, Christmas Eve and Boxing day. In my house, the tree is generally put up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I personally do not think the least little bit about Christmas (besides making sure I've got enough gifts) up until Christmas Eve. For the most part, I've never enjoyed Christmas for too much besides gifts, now that I'm getting older and don't want as many things (I only managed to think of two things I wanted this year), Christmas is becoming less and less enjoyable.

I've just never been into the whole, "our family doesn't care to yell one day, but oh, it's Christmas season so we'll pretend we're on Hallmark the next day" sort of approach to Christmas. In my religion, we don't celebrate Christmas as Christ's birthday, so there's not too much to Christmas in my house besides a butt load of traditions...which remind me of Hallmark. ><

Anyway, as you can see, I don't mind considering Christmas as a mere three-day event. Eat on Eve, open on the morning of, and box half of the next day.
apple
I this Christmas is 'officially' all of December. Anywhere you go Christmas is 'in the air'. Can't turn on the radio or television without seeing/hearing some form of jingle bells.
standready
I don't know really. Stores have Christmas things out before Halloween so I am so confused. People have forgotten what Christmas is really about. Now, it seems, Christmas is just a retailer excuse for profit. My family has not exchanged "gifts" on Christmas in many years. Why wait til a specific day to share.
Nameless
apple wrote:
I this Christmas is 'officially' all of December. Anywhere you go Christmas is 'in the air'. Can't turn on the radio or television without seeing/hearing some form of jingle bells.

This is another point of view that worries me. For two reasons, the first being the obvious vicious circle; defining X as Christmas because everybody else defines X as Christmas. (And this isn't even a case of everyone else defining X as Christmas, but a small, vocal minority - ie. advertisements - defining it for their own benefit.)

The second is that it's basically a grander scale of peer pressure. Besides, anywhere you go at ANY time of the year you'll be seeing/hearing some form of junk food ads, artificial social pressure to upgrade your portable electronics, sports. I like the occasional junk food, but I manage to live all of the year quite comfortably without feeling the need to shop for an iPhone or care about any given sports team ... Christmas isn't much more prevalent, it's just more overt.
ocalhoun
^ To rid yourself of their commercialism, you must first rid yourself of your own consumerism. (collectively)
ProwerBot
November onwards is when I start thinking about christmas....
crimson_aria
I feel Christmas when there are already Christmas lights and Christmas trees around. and most don't put those up only when it's already December. So I guess, December for me.
TurtleShell
Christmas time is basically Thanksgiving through New Year's. Why, why does it have to last so long?? I hate Christmas.
Nameless
TurtleShell wrote:
Christmas time is basically Thanksgiving through New Year's. Why, why does it have to last so long??

You're the one claiming it does. Why don't you ask yourself that question?
saratdear
I voted "One week before Christmas" because we have about 10 days holidays at that time, and we call them Christmas holidays. I don't celebrate Christmas, but hols are always welcome.
guissmo
Here in the Philippines, Christmas music starts on September, and it doesn't stop. Like literally every store plays Christmas songs day in and day out. Smile)
TurtleShell
I am asking myself that--I do every year around this time. It's too stressful. I like the lights and decorations and the music, but I can't handle my family. We're in the middle of Christmas negotiations right now--you know, who will be where, and when. Everybody wants something. I enjoy Christmas most when I can spend it drunk but even that is curbed by the fact that my partner's parents don't keep alcohol in their house, and we spend the majority of their holidays there. too bad.
tchaunt
What TurtleShell said is true. I voted for the three-day range simply because that is when my family celebrates Christmas. The truth of the matter is that Christmas has lost any true-value it once had simply because the media pushes Christmas from about Halloween until New Year's.

Believe me TurtleShell, I ask myself the same question. I have to attend dinners with the Masingo side of my family. To say the least, the Bailey side and Masingo side are very much ticked at each other because of something my cousin claimed about my grandfather. We had to go Thanksgiving dinner with them, and we'll have to go to Christmas dinner too. For me, I wish Christmas wouldn't happen in my family this year. Any time at all with the feuding family is my own personal Hell. It makes it even worse with people pretending to be happy and silently calling a truce just to get gifts. e.e
tony
From retailers, I think the definition is more like, Thanksgiving and afterwards Smile It seems the definition also gets broader every year Razz
deanhills
TurtleShell wrote:
I am asking myself that--I do every year around this time. It's too stressful. I like the lights and decorations and the music, but I can't handle my family. We're in the middle of Christmas negotiations right now--you know, who will be where, and when. Everybody wants something. I enjoy Christmas most when I can spend it drunk but even that is curbed by the fact that my partner's parents don't keep alcohol in their house, and we spend the majority of their holidays there. too bad.
I never liked Xmas as usually during that time it was as thought the worst came out of every one and it being a huge pretense, but it usually was non-alcoholic. Celebrations were usually from 31 December to 2 January for New Years. Now that I liked. That is different. Also the time when everyone went to their own parties and surrounded themselves with the friends they liked.
PureReborn
It certainly feels like all of December is Christmas time. As soon as December comes around all the stations and stores start playing Christmas songs non-stop and before you know it everywhere is filled with decorations and crazy sales.

The last 2 months of the year is like one long endless party ^_^.
Nameless
PureReborn wrote:
The last 2 months of the year is like one long endless party ^_^.


Listening to the same maddening jingles stuck on repeat, killing the environment with masses of paper and decorative lights, waiting around in long queues just because you happened to innocently run out of UHT milk within a four week period, spending time with annoying relatives rather than your chosen friends ... YEAH PARTY WOO!!
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:
waiting around in long queues just because you happened to innocently run out of UHT milk within a four week period,

You can mostly avoid that by going to stores that only sell food... Or go places in off hours when they're not even busy in that season.
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
Listening to the same maddening jingles stuck on repeat
That was exactly what went through my mind tonight as I went to my friendly neighbourhood store and it was playing for the first time this season the exact same jingle of the year before, and the year before that. They must be playing the exact same tape. I guess this is guaranteed to keep my visits short though, probably good from that point of view.
Nameless
ocalhoun wrote:
Nameless wrote:
waiting around in long queues just because you happened to innocently run out of UHT milk within a four week period,

You can mostly avoid that by going to stores that only sell food... Or go places in off hours when they're not even busy in that season.

Well, yes, I was exaggerating for comic affect ... But even so, the crowds can be rather tedious when I'm eg. just going out to buy a new video game for myself, to say nothing of how much longer a cheap parcel from overseas will take to be delivered because I happened to buy a book in December.
ninjakannon
Highstreets and shops put up their decorations in early November, but the start of Christmas sales isn't the start of Christmas time because it doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Christmas events begin around early December; things like late night shopping, parties with no relation to Christmas may do something slightly more festive, and then there will be actual Christmas events.

Remember that Advent begins on Advent Sunday, basically a month in advance. Interestingly Wikipedia describes this as a "season", which is like saying it's a 'time'.

Generally, people get most excited about 2 weeks before the day, and this is often when decorations in homes go up. Yet by this time I feel the time has already begun.

Often people stay on holiday for the period between Christmas and New Year, but this doesn't feel like Christmas any more, I think.

So basically, I'd say from about December 1st to the 25th.
Ghost900
Almost Christmas for me is about 3-4 days before Christmas. Although I generally never say it is almost Christmas as I don't talk about Christmas to much. Wink
Peterssidan
Christmas for me starts on Christmas eve because the Christmas decorations and decorating the Christmas tree use to be done the night before Christmas eve. Christmas Eve is also the day when the most celebrations take place. The following days also feel much like Christmas. I don't think Christmas have an absolute end date, it's declining as the Christmas food run out and some weeks later the decorations go away.

The time before Christmas is advent. stop. Advent can also have a feeling of Christmas with advent decorations. Now when I'm older and live on my own I can't say I can feel any Christmas or advent feelings yet. Probably because I don't decorate myself and I don't buy Christmas gifts at all.
achowles
Probably about a week or two before Christmas and on up to New Year.
ninjakannon
achowles wrote:
Probably about a week or two before Christmas and on up to New Year.

Do you have a reason for this?
achowles
ninjakannon wrote:
achowles wrote:
Probably about a week or two before Christmas and on up to New Year.

Do you have a reason for this?


In what sense? The reason is that I don't feel it could be longer without substantially diluting it.
Faraz
Just one day - the Christmas day. We only get the day off one day...
supernova1987a
Nameless wrote:
...
And we have a word for this season, it's called Summer. Or Winter, you know, hemisphere depending.
...


Well, thats why everybody must live in Northern Hemisphere. Desert southern hemisphere! Or at least move to northern hemisphere during the Christmas! Wink Or move the date to winter time for Southern Hemisphere folks! Wink
ninjakannon
achowles wrote:
ninjakannon wrote:
achowles wrote:
Probably about a week or two before Christmas and on up to New Year.

Do you have a reason for this?


In what sense? The reason is that I don't feel it could be longer without substantially diluting it.

Oh well you just gave the time period, but I wondered why you thought that - it didn't really mean much by itself.

I agree that continuing 'Christmas' for too long would dilute it; although, I don't find currently that it is diluted, despite the lengthy commercial build-up. That just increases expectation and excitement, for some.

Edit: Woop! 2000th post!
ProwerBot
4 more days, everyone =D
Bluedoll
Christmas time defined . . . by Bluedoll

It was a time of great joy, it was a time of great sadness.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It lasts when you think about it and ends when its over. It is a feeling. It is a way. It is a time that you decide when it starts or doesn't and is never about others doing it for you.

It is a time to give and it is a time to recieve.

Most importantly, it is never a length of time. It is quality time.

amen

and MerryChristmas and a very happy newest year to whoever reads this

Very Happy
Nameless
I'm a little confused on your "definition" of Christmas here. Tongue in cheek mocking will ensue.

Bluedoll wrote:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Christmas = Charles Dickens?

Bluedoll wrote:
It lasts when you think about it

Christmas = The Game? (Which I just lost, thanks.)

Bluedoll wrote:
and ends when its over.

People die if they are killed!

Bluedoll wrote:
It is a feeling. It is a way.

You're thinking of happiness and the roads respectively. I'm pretty sure Christmas is explicitly a holiday.

Bluedoll wrote:
It is a time that you decide when it starts or doesn't

I'll be sure to keep that excuse in mind when I forget to buy somebody a present before the 25th.

Bluedoll wrote:
It is a time that [...] is never about others doing it for you. [...] it is a time to recieve.

But just you said ...!

Bluedoll wrote:
it was a time of great sadness. [...] It is quality time.

Well it can't be a very good quality, then. I think I'll stick with the generic Birthday brand.
achowles
ninjakannon wrote:
I agree that continuing 'Christmas' for too long would dilute it; although, I don't find currently that it is diluted, despite the lengthy commercial build-up. That just increases expectation and excitement, for some.

Edit: Woop! 2000th post!


To me, preparing for Christmas and actually feeling like it is Christmas are two different things. I don't often feel like it's Christmas at least until a week before the day, so even my original post was a bit generous in that regard. Oh and congrats on the 2000 posts! I'm kind of surprised I've racked up so few given the time I've been here.
goutha
I love the idea that christmas is boxing day. I thought that christmas was a religious event Smile Mybe that shopping is the modern religion...
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