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Parenting Perspectives: Let Christmas lovers break the no-tree-before-Thanksgiving rule

My parents taught me to be kind, color inside the lines, stand up for others and knock before entering, among a multitude of other undoubtedly appropriate rules for prospering in life.

Kerri Kava

My parents taught me to be kind, color inside the lines, stand up for others and knock before entering, among a multitude of other undoubtedly appropriate rules for prospering in life.

Growing up, you learn these rules - spoken and unspoken, intentionally and unintentionally. But rules were meant to be broken.

There is one unspoken rule when it comes to parenting that I tend to be reminded of each year at this time, probably because I break it consistently.

Every family knows you shouldn't put up the Christmas tree until after Thanksgiving.

The stores bamboozle us with those trees, glimmering even before the last pumpkin is sold. Some stores toss the tinsel even earlier, leaving all of us Christmas lovers with little to no strength when passing the snowberry candles, knee-high snowmen and eggnog right next to the skim milk. Those clever store managers and marketing geniuses, they know exactly what they're doing when they see a mom like me walk into the store.

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But even if they do, what does it matter? I've never understood why it's OK for us to run out and buy our children a multitude of presents on Black Friday (or now even Thanksgiving itself), and yet a Christmas tree before the turkey and trimmings is taboo. Is the tree going to tackle your words and gratitude? Will the twinkling lights steal the show and outshine the hum of a football game?

My parents followed the rule, and their parents followed the rule. Heck, they probably invented the rule. If you follow the rule, I think that's wonderful. But if you don't, I think that's OK, too.

I've chosen to rebel against common Christmas practice because we have a 6-year-old boy who loves the tree with all of his being. He hugs the tree goodnight before bed. He runs to turn it on every morning. It's his special thing, and we stretch it out as long as we can.

But whether my son loves the tree or I love the tree, it's my rule to break, so I've made it a tradition to break it.

I know all you Thanksgiving lovers will still get plenty of turkey, eat a plethora of pie, take numerous of naps and give thanks even as you comb the shopping ads while surrounding yourself with the people you love.

Perhaps you will forgive me for the early glimmer in my living room, the pine-scented ornaments that make my beautiful fake tree smell real and singing Hallmark ornaments that are worth every overpriced penny when I think of the memories we have of them from year to year.

I know it's frustrating to put up with, but in the meantime, do all of us Christmas lovers out there a favor and let us celebrate early. We're happy in our tinsel town.

Kerri Kava is mom to 6-year-old Carter, who lives with Williams syndrome. She can be reached at kerrikava18@gmail.com .

Related Topics: FAMILY
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