Sunday, November 30, 2014
Preparing for Xmas
1. PREPARATIONS FOR XMAS MUST NOT BEGIN(1) BEFORE THANKSGIVING.(2) THIS APPLIES TO PREPARATIONS WHICH AFFECT THE HOLIDAY MOOD,(3) BUT NOT THOSE WHICH ARE DONE IN PRIVATE.(4)
(1) This contrasts sharply with Shabbos, for the mitzva of honoring Shabbos applies all week long. For example, if one finds a particularly good food during the week, one should save it for Shabbos even though it is now only Sunday and Shabbos is a week away. However, Xmas preparations may not begin too far in advance, in order to fulfill the dictum, "It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas."
(2) This is because of the principle that two festive occasions should not be mixed into each other. Note the decree of the great R.H. Macy, who established that Santa Claus may not appear in the Thanksgiving Day parade until after all the other floats have passed.
(3) Such as setting up the Xmas tree (some say even buying one,) or playing holiday music on the Muzak.
(4) Such as buying gifts or buying the Xmas dinner turkey. Cooking the turkey may not be done before Thanksgiving because it will appear to be a Thanksgiving turkey.
2. SOME HOLD THAT THE TREE SHOULD BE DECORATED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THANKSGIVING,(5) BUT OTHERS PREFER TO DECORATE IT AS CLOSE TO XMAS AS POSSIBLE.(6)
(5) For the mitzva of "adding to the yom tov" by beginning the Xmas season early.
(6) As it is said, "Do not put off for tomorrow, that which can be put off for the day after tomorrow."