The month of April is the most anti-Christmas month of the year. There is less Christmas cheer now than at any other point on the calendar.
We know. We’ve been doing Christmas year round for a quarter of a century now. We know when people are thinking Christmas and it ain’t happening much in April. Traffic to our various Christmas web sites bottoms out in April. Email, forum activity — everything! — just slows to a crawl at this time of the year.
That surprises some people. Some think that Christmas is the furthest away in January but we know other wise. For many, Christmas only begins in December — and much the world carries that over into January. After all, most of the Christian world celebrates the traditional 12 days of Christmas which everyone knows comes AFTER Christmas and not before. It culminates with Three Kings Day in many cultures.
February is a good Christmas month for a couple of reasons. Many still keep their outdoor decorations up because of the cold and snow. Some even transition their Christmas trees from Christmas to Valentine’s Day decor, seeing a strong connection between the warmth of Christmas cheer and the theme of love.
March usually sees an end to it all from the previous season. The outdoor decorations finally come in, the last of the Christmas treats are consumed, and the thank you’s have all been sent. Some times folks see Easter weekend as a time when Nativities come down until next year and the celebrations of the “religious season” are finally over. For many, the budding green of spring is really the mark of a New Year.
April is barren when it comes to Christmas. There is no connection, there is no thought given to Christmas. It’s too late to celebrate and too early to anticipate.
Once Mother’s Day passes that changes — in a hurry. The first mail order catalogs of Christmas specialty products gets printed and mailed in early May. By June, folks are starting to talk about limited edition collectible ornaments and Christmas keepsakes. Leon Day hits on June 25th, the official halfway mark to Christmas. And by Christmas in July it’s off to the races in counting down to Christmas.
So what is the Christmas fan to do in the dog days of April, when nary a snowflake, Christmas tree or Santa can be found? There is, actually, lots to do to keep the Christmas fires burning:
1. Keep that Nativity up! It is no secret that Christ was not actually born on December 25th. While scholars differ on what time of the year the Christ Child actually was born most agree it likely happened in April. For many, the traditional Christmas season has become so overcrowded with secular elements some feel the Baby Jesus doesn’t get enough of a showcase. There is absolutely nothing in April to compete with the beauty, simplicity and miracle of the birth of Christ. In fact, some keep their Nativity up all year round for this very reason. It is always appropriate to do so.
2. Audit your Christmas lights — toss out the bad, install the new, and repair what is worn out. This task, believe it or not, is much easier to accomplish as a solitary job in April than as one-of-a-million things to do when decorating next November. Not only will it save you time it will likely save you a lot of irritation next fall.
3. Create a Christmas Memory Book. We love this idea! Did you just celebrate a great Christmas season? Did you take pictures or video? Did you spend some of it with someone special? Did you do something extraordinary? There are a billion ideas online for making such things — both in a physical state or in a digital state. But imagine how fun Thanksgiving evening will be when you look back through this keepsake!
4. Make what you missed. For many people the holiday season is so packed with activity that some times a special tradition or element has been forgotten. Recently a harried mother of four admitted to us that she forgot to make the sugar cookies on Christmas Eve. They were so busy with other things it just passed them by. Why not do those things NOW? What’s wrong with a pumpkin pie in April?
5. Plan something different. So much happens during the Christmas season that it is impossible to get to it all. Perhaps your past Christmas season was great but you missed the local production of “A Christmas Carol” or you didn’t get to that great Christmas light display. April is a great time to research local events that traditionally happen in your area and put them on the calendar for next year.
April doesn’t have to be absent of Christmas. It is, in fact, an ideal time for savoring many parts of the season that this past season denied you.