It's annoyed me for years that Christmas decorations go up in shopping malls before Thanksgiving, but now people are beginning to decorate their homes in mid November, too.
I've always wondered about the people who celebrate Christmas all through Advent and then take down the decorations on December 26th. Are they so tired of it all that they're ready to get it over with? Merriment, peace on Earth, Jesus' birthday: check, check, check. Several years ago I spent so much time celebrating Christmas in the month of December that by the 24th I was done with it. I'm sure that's not how it is for everyone, and I'm sure a lot of it comes down to how different denominations celebrate liturgical seasons. (do other denominations even have liturgical seasons?)
But today I had a thought. In our culture Christmas often has very little to do with Christ but is much more about other good things: joy, family, love, warmth, feasting, gifts, pretty decorations, feelings. To me, this shows a kind of bankruptcy - especially when it's Christians who are losing the focus. And I wondered if we are so bankrupt that we have to fill ourselves up with good, but lesser things. So we rush past Thanksgiving - barely acknowledging things like food, shelter, a good harvest, fair weather, family, health - in order to make ourselves feel better.
A Christmas tree and some lights on our gutters are not bad things. But I do feel like it's incredibly important to be thankful for the blessings we have, and to not lose focus on the meaning of a day that has been intentionally set aside for that purpose. And I do think that part of giving Thanksgiving its proper respect is to keep the Christmas decorations in their boxes for just a little bit longer.
What do you think? This was a thought borne today on a car ride and I'm not set on it yet. I'd love to hear your perspectives and thoughts if you'd like to share them.
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