Hannah Smith is “usually not one of those people who gets excited about Christmas in July,” she said.
This year has been different, though. On July 13, Ms. Smith, a 20-year-old aesthetician, posted a video on TikTok titled “here’s some serotonin i think we could ALL use rn,” featuring a slide show of Christmas-related images: cookies for Santa, posters for the movies “Elf” and “The Polar Express,” a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows, gifts under a tree.
Andy Williams’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background of the video, which currently has more than two million views.
Many users shared her enthusiasm for the holiday season. “I can’t wait to unwrap gifts and drink hot chocolate,” one commenter wrote.
Most years, Christmas enthusiasts begin to wonder “How early is too early?” as Thanksgiving approaches. But in 2020, Christmas can’t come soon enough.
In March, many families started putting up Christmas lights to brighten spirits during lockdown, and local radio stations started playing Christmas music. Hallmark Channel hosted a “We Need a Little Christmas” weekend movie marathon. In April, Pinterest clocked that Christmas-related searches on its site had more than doubled from the same time last year.
And now, as the summer heat wages on, internet communities are spreading winter cheer. Largely within the past month, an entire network of Christmas-focused accounts has popped up on TikTok, fueled by videos such as Ms. Smith’s. Some have tens if not hundreds of thousands of followers. One popular account has made videos with suggestions for Starbucks’s seasonal beverage selection and advice for falling asleep on Christmas Eve, which is still 118 days away.
On another TikTok account, @xmaseasons, there are videos of Christmas Funfetti cake, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and lots of hot chocolate. “I like to bake, and some of my like to have me do that too,” said Maddie Voisard, 13, who runs the account. Many other users have followed suit, posting baking content that puts a festive twist on the quarantine baking craze.
Megan Ward, 18, started a Christmas account on July 18. She posts brightly edited photos and words of inspiration. “hope your day is great! remember Christmas is on its way :),” reads part of one caption.
Abigail Hewitt, 15, lives in the United Kingdom and posts countdowns, pictures of hot chocolate and Christmas memes on her account. “The Christmas community is so festive and is filled with really kind, amazing people from all over the world,” she said.
Some have even turned to the YouTube comment sections of popular Christmas music videos to connect with fellow early bird celebrators. “It’s July in 2020 don’t judge shut up I’m just feeling it,” reads a comment on the video for “Last Christmas,” by Wham! On Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” one viewer wrote, “All i want for christmas is the cure for coronavirus.”
During a difficult year, the online Christmas community has given many people hope. “There is something special about Christmas that lifts everyone’s spirits,” Ms. Ward said.
“The virus has ripped away so many things from us this year,” Ms. Smith said. “Having this little nostalgic spark of excitement for something that has been consistent for so many of our lives just feels comforting to look forward to extra early.”
Following the cancellation of countless events and holiday gatherings over the past several months, all conventions concerning the “right time” to start celebrating Christmas have been called off. On July 24, nearly five months ahead of the holiday, one Twitter user wrote, “I’m thinking it’s time to just put up the Christmas tree and call it a year.”
As the school year approaches, some students are even using the Christmas spirit as motivation to get through remote learning. One TikTok user made a video from the perspective of a student attending a Zoom class in December, with a mug of hot cocoa and a cinnamon vanilla-scented candle for morale.
Even the brands are ready. In a recent ad for Burger King’s #WrapUp2020 campaign, a man wearing a mask and standing in front of a restaurant decorated with Christmas lights says, “It would be awesome if we just woke up and it was Christmas now.”