Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Too Much Christmas Before Thanksgiving?

It's been "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" for MONTHS now. And, this year I’m noticing more and more families are skipping right through Fall and Thanksgiving and are fast forwarding the Christmas spirit of lights and decorations everywhere. In fact, last week while in Austin, I helped with Christmas decorating, and when I arrived in Frisco, Staci's home was already decorated so beautifully.

It's been "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" for MONTHS now. This year I’m noticing more and more families are skipping right past their Fall and Thanksgiving decorations and are fast forwarding the Christmas spirit of lights and decorations everywhere. In fact, last week while in Austin, I helped with Christmas decorating, and when I arrived in Frisco, Staci's home was already beautifully decorated..

I was amused at some FB posts a while ago as some folks were complaining about the early sales of Christmas decorations and hearing Christmas music playing since back in August. I get that retail stores, needing their bottom lines increased, amp it up to get us into the "buying" spirit waaay before the Christmas season. I can’t fault them for that. In order to vacate those shelves as quickly as possible, there are already 50% off sales.

I get that most of us want to embrace each season and make it as memorable as we can. We want to savor Fall with the leaves changing colors, candy corn, pumpkin spice coffee, autumn décor, and we want to remember the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving and make this Fall season special and meaningful.

But, what's the big deal? Why should it matter when people begin to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. Different strokes for different folks. What matters is that we open our hearts and our homes to gratitude at Thanksgiving and to the joys, delights, thrills and celebrations of CHRISTMAS – Christ and His coming to this earth. Actually, Thanksgiving AND Christmas are seasons that could easily be merged together as one.

I’ve been pondering Advent and Christmas for several months now, partly because I’m a guest speaker at an Advent by Candlelight event back in Tulsa. AND because I packed up my home to move all my belongings to Texas, I sifted through a lot of Christmas décor and sold it in my garage sale. With fifteen tubs of Christmas décor remaining, I think I’ll still manage! Oh me! But, I won’t need to be decorating this year as I’m in Texas for the holidays and my girls have made this Mama proud with their exquisite decorating abilities.

My grandson is creating a melody of Christmas music and hearing those familiar tunes causes me to embrace this season even more. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. I’m already allowing myself to get enraptured by the miraculous Christmas story -- the UNLIKELY turn of events that altered the course of our present and future. And, as I’m embracing Christmas early, pondering and thinking about all that Christmas means, when my family is all together here in Frisco this Thursday, this mode of thanksgiving, will simply open the door for all the joys and beauty of Christmas.

I didn't complain about the early sales of Christmas decorations and music playing in the stores. It has just caused me to hone into the beautiful journey that will lead to the most HOLY DAY – and, it would have been alright if I started way back in July! After all, it’s more than a season or a day, it’s about a REASON for unspeakable joy, indescribable love, and amazing sacrifice – that the ONE who placed the stars in the sky and Who knows them ALL by name -- chose to come to this earth as a little baby to be with me, understand me, live in this world like me -- HE totally gets me and my frailties, but better yet, He is my all powerful, incomparable, awesome and GREAT, amazing God. I'd say that's plenty reason to be celebrating ALL YEAR ROUND! So the next time you're tempted to complain about "too early".....turn that around to being thankful for the reminder to thank God for THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. It’s just too great a story to compact it into just one celebration.