When is it appropriate to say Merry Christmas?


While on a recent Christmas shopping excursion, I wanted to thank a cashier and say, “Merry Christmas.” But I hesitated, because I didn’t know whether it was too early to wish anyone a Merry Christmas.

You’ll get no argument from me that it’s appropriate to wish someone a Merry Christmas on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but when do you start?

According to the retail Illuminati, who decide such things as what overpriced or annoying toys you must buy for children each year, the Christmas season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving or Black Friday. So do we follow the rules and start wishing people Merry Christmas in November, just because some unknown force has decreed the day after Thanksgiving the start of the Christmas holiday season? As strange as it would be to have someone wishing you a Merry Christmas in November, I’m sure there are people who do it.

But isn’t the last week of November too early to say “Merry Christmas?” How about Dec. 1? It’s at least the start of the Christmas month, but even then, it’s still 24 days away from Christmas Day. Perhaps, we can follow the example of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and start the merry wishing on Dec. 14? However, even 14 days out still feels a bit odd. Thus, I pose this question to you. When is it appropriate to start saying, “Merry Christmas?”