I started getting organized for the holiday season. I even finished shopping for one person. When asked by a salesperson what I was shopping for they responded with “wow, you’re organized.”
Except, I don’t feel organized. Maybe for them, starting to shop and think about it in November is being organized. But for me, I have forgotten the perfect idea we had for one person. I have no ideas for a few others. I have one finished. One. That does not feel organized at all.
So, this time of year, Halloween has passed, Remembrance Day isn’t yet here, and people are starting to put out their Christmas decorations. For us, we wait until after Remembrance Day, for us it is out of respect. This is something I have always stood by. But, a couple years ago I read a post talking about this debate and someone (in theory) spoke to a Veteran and asked them what they thought, and they said, in short –who doesn’t like looking at the lights? They found no offence to the decorations going up early. Whether this is a legitimate conversation or not (there were no citations) it did make me think.
Is it offensive to put out decorations before Remembrance Day? I think it depends on your intentions. Are you just brushing past this day, jumping from holiday to holiday? Then, yes. I would say you are being disrespectful. But if you are doing it while still honouring the Veterans—if you still wear your poppy and share the minute of silence while reflecting on the past—then perhaps it isn’t offence after all?
We all show our respect in our own ways and the freedom to do so is what was fought for. That is part of what we are thinking about on Remembrance Day, part of what we are thankful for.
Everything is relative: for us, if we were to put out any decorations (even though we do only have a few) it would feel disrespectful, so we don’t. That is our freedom, our choice. For others perhaps, they feel that by celebrating with their family, by putting out their decorations, is their way of honouring that freedom. We can’t understand another’s motive, and, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. We are free to do and choose as we wish, we celebrate how we want to. So maybe, let’s argue less about when to put out decorations and focus more on talking about what the Veterans fought for. In those days between Halloween and the 11th let’s focus more on the positive, on what we have now, thanks to all those who came before us. Let’s argue less about decorations and discuss more about the wonderful freedom we have to decide when and if to put them out.