Downtown Christmas 2018

NORFOLKANS GET into the Christmas mood at Downtown Christmas last year. 

If social media is to be believed, the timing of when to begin playing Christmas music is more divisive than American politics.

While some holiday enthusiasts enjoy cranking up the tunes right after Halloween (or even before), other people are adamant that Christmas decorations and music should make an appearance only after Thanksgiving.

Big box stores and several chains in Norfolk began moving Christmas merchandise in before November, and many of them already have trees up.

Small-business owners, however, seem to be easing into the season.

Chris Cash, manager at Downtown Coffee Co., said the shop would decorate the windows and front counter for Christmas, although that hasn’t happened yet.

Additionally, an area also will be set up for Santa to greet children during the Riverpoint Christmas Festival on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving each year.

Generally, a coffee shop playlist on Alexa provides the music for Downtown Coffee Co., but the switch over to Christmas music will be made at festival time, Cash said.

“I love everything about the holidays. I love Christmas,” she said.

Employees also will have a gingerbread house decorating contest for the first time this year, with the winner being chosen by customers. Cash said a similar pumpkin decorating contest around Halloween was a big success.

Downtown women’s apparel store, Love & Threads, began playing Christmas music at the beginning of November.

Owner Jen Fuchtman said she made her own playlists through Apple Music and has a mix of religious, traditional and pop Christmas music.

“I waited until after Halloween to play it (in the store), when everything starts switching over to the holiday mood. I personally love it, though, so I’ve been listening to it since October,” she said.

Fuchtman said about 90% of her customers who comment on the music are happy with it, although she occasionally gets comments that “it’s too soon for Christmas music.”

Her store windows are already festive, and Fuchtman said she plans to decorate more next week.

“I just think it’s such a happy time of year, for me at least. There’s just such a mood in the air with the holiday music, the decorations,” Fuchtman said.

Across town, Tim Worstell, manager of The Abbey Christian Store, said he plans to start playing Christmas music as soon as the annual Christmas sales flyer is mailed out.

Worstell said he also makes his own playlists for the store, and he will begin mixing in music featured on the flyer with the other music that is normally played.

“When we hit Black Friday weekend, that’s when it is exclusively Christmas music,” he said.

Holiday decorations in the store will consist mostly of what is being sold. In fact, there is already a Christmas tree up featuring ornaments for sale.

Worstell said he especially enjoys the holiday season.

“My favorite part is celebrating Christ’s birth with my family and friends.”

In other news

Now before you get all salty and say, “High School isn’t going to be that hard,” put that sentence right back in your mouth because I said the same thing and, spoiler alert, high school is hard. I know you don’t want to listen to an upper classman, but let me drop some advice onto you.

Graduation is less than 200 days away, and as I think about moving on to the next chapter of my life, I’m starting to take a look at what it was like to be a freshman.

Freshman: We all hate them, but we were all them. I was recently a freshman; only last year. But in the few months since then, I think I’ve learned a few things. I don’t know whether I’m a better or worse person since freshman year, but I sure am a person. There’s a lot of things that freshm…

My name is Anna Wooldrik, I am a senior in high school, and I plan on attending college this fall. This is my last year with my family, taking part in high school events, and living in my home town of West Point. As I look back on my last four years, I have changed dramatically.

When they say high school is the fastest four years of your life, they weren’t lying. It feels like just yesterday I was a shy freshman, and now I’m an outgoing senior. It’s crazy how much I have changed over the four years, but there have been lots of other changes, too. My friends and fami…

Freshman year is both an exciting and difficult time for many students. It comes with many more responsibilities and harder classes. Many students struggle to manage their time wisely. Making sure you are paying attention in class, managing your time wisely, and getting enough sleep are the …

One piece of advice I would offer to current freshman is to embrace your true self. In today’s world, teens constantly feel a need to please everyone with whom they interact. At any stage in your life, there will be people who try to change who you are. In reality, no one is “normal,” and at…