Now is the time of year that you hear the perennial questions: “When do you start celebrating and decorating for Christmas?” and, “Is it too early to listen to Christmas music?”
As a kid, I was from a hardcore “no-celebrating-Christmas-until-after-Thanksgiving” family. To this day, while visiting my mom, this firm and fast rule still stands. So, on our visits, It’s a Wonderful Life must wait until we are eating the turkey leftovers and finishing up the cranberry sauce on the Friday after Thanksgiving. No problem. I will honor that. But I can’t help but wonder why no Christmas movies, decorations, or music until then? What’s the rationale? If you ask my mom, it’s because we must take time to be thankful!
Years ago I was taking a walk outside a few days before Thanksgiving wearing a red and white reindeer sweatshirt, when a passerby seemed offended. With disdain, this stranger shook his head and muttered to himself, “Celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving.” I felt terrible for a moment, then realized: it was just a sweatshirt. This was no crime or egregious offence. Still, I was aware of the touchy subject of delving into the Christmas spirit too early.
This year, unwittingly, I watched a Christmas movie on November 1 and drank hot chocolate out of a Christmas mug. Maybe earlier celebrations of Christmas have been conditioned by stores pulling out red and green decorations right after Halloween, but is there necessarily a problem with that? Why must we wait to celebrate Christmas? When the wonder of the lights and the joy of the music is pulling at the longing of your heart to rejoice, let’s celebrate. The season of joy and music and lights does not negate the need to be thankful. Let’s do both!
Yes, let’s be thankful – all year! And let’s bring on the celebrating. No need to hinder or delay. It’s a season of wonder. Of joy. Let’s fill our rooms and homes with praise and joy. The spirit of celebration! Bring on the Christmas movie marathons, the Christmas socks, and the marshmallow-laden, piping hot cocoa and caroling. And let’s celebrate the Savior all year long!
by Stephanie Boss, 5th grade teacher