There are only six shopping days left til Christmas, but if Slate writer LV Anderson had her way, there'd be more than 40. Anderson makes the case that Christmas should be pushed from Dec. 25 to Feb. 7. She's got all kinds of arguments—it's too close to Thanksgiving, for instance, which puts a strain on wallets, travel, and even holiday parties—but her main one revolves around what she sees as the "function of Christmas" (as opposed to the "meaning of Christmas," which has more religious connotations). And that function? "To bring light and warmth to a dark, cold time of year, thereby making us all a little happier." But when the holiday ends, we get the "sad last hurrah" of New Year's before beginning the depressing, months-long sludge to spring.
"This is totally backward," she writes. "The Christmas spirit ought to help us get through the darkest, iciest months of the year." Besides, the date Dec. 25 is "totally arbitrary" in terms of the birthdate of Jesus, which is unknown, so why not give ourselves a break? "Lengthening the Christmas season would give us all more time—more time to spread out our shopping, decorating, baking, and reveling, and also more time to retreat to our homes and escape the hustle and bustle," writes Anderson. As for why Feb. 7, a few reasons: 7 is considered lucky, it's the sum of two and five, and it would place Christmas a week before Valentine's Day, mirroring the Christmas/New Year's set-up we have now. Click for her full argument. (Read more Christmas stories.)