It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas? What? Already?
In a number of houses, yes. And, if you’re a purist who thinks it’s way too early, you can blame 2020.
“This is a different year, and we just felt like we needed a little more joy, something else to focus on,” said Kendall Hebert.
Two days before Halloween, Hebert had taken off work to run errands, but car trouble ruined those plans. So, she pulled the Christmas decorations down from the attic, turned on the Christmas music and started putting her Bueche home in the holiday spirit — much to the delight of her 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, when she got home from school.
“She had no idea I had done that, and the excitement that she had … it just touched my heart just to see her with that type of surprise,” Hebert said. “She still has the spirit of Christmas at her age.”
That night, Hebert posted some photos of her décor and said they’d decorated because they “needed some extra joy.”
“I had a lot of people comment ‘Good for you’ or ‘Amen, whatever it takes,’” Hebert said. “There was no ‘How dare you?’”
Her next-door neighbor, April Blanchard, was right behind her. She took down Halloween decorations as soon as the trick-or-treating ended, and the next day, up went Christmas trees in the living room, dining room and children’s bedrooms, plus ornaments, mantle decorations and more.
“This year, I was just ready to have it done,” Blanchard said. “With everything going on, I just needed some joy. It’s our favorite time of the year. Your kids love it, and we just needed it.
"We were ready for it. We were ready for the music, the lights, the décor, just everything. Not that we’re not happy or we don’t ever have joy, but Christmastime is magical, and we needed that.”
Compared with her West Baton Rouge Parish neighbors, Tonya Genre in Port Allen took her good, sweet time decorating her home for Christmas, waiting until Nov. 7 to shop for extra decorations. On Nov. 8, she and her daughter, Abby, began decorating in earnest. Genre usually waits until after Thanksgiving.
Although the 2020 blues played a part in her revised timetable, the Genres had a more personal reason. Their son, Adam, joined the Army last year and missed Thanksgiving 2019 while in basic training. Now stationed at Fort Polk, he received a four-day pass that enabled him to come home this past weekend and his mom wanted him to get the family Christmas experience, even if early.
Genre also posted photos on Facebook and got mixed reactions.
“I had one of my friends say ‘I put my Christmas tree up in the middle of October. I’m with you. I’m tired of this year,’” she said. “I’ve had some people look at me and say, ‘Are you skipping Thanksgiving?’ And I’m, like, no, but it’s going to be a more Christmas-y, cheery Thanksgiving this year.”