I cannot believe that my house isn’t already decorated for Christmas.
(Please, if you haven’t already, you MUST read The Christmas Tree Incident.)
This is the longest I’ve held out in years. Except… well, I’m not really “holding out” so much as I’ve just been incredibly busy and my life has turned upside down. What a shame that the trick-or-treaters didn’t get to see my beautifully decorated Christmas tree this year.
So many people, perhaps you’re one of them, say, “We haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!” as they grumble over the Christmas commercials, the Christmas music and every holiday display at every retail store. When I see this reaction, my face immediately goes blank as I purse my lips, trying to contain my rebuttal.
Listen, Scrooge, stop telling me what I can and cannot be excited about and the orderly process in which I need to feel feelings. Because I’m excited to celebrate Jesus’ birthday AND I’m excited to give my loved ones gifts on behalf of His birth. (Albeit, this year they’ll be rather modest gifts.) Really I don’t see the point in containing my pleasure and anticipation for the twinkle, the sparkle and the beauty that is to come.
Haven’t you ever planned for someone’s birthday months prior to the actual date? Or have you ever received an invitation to a party more than a month before the occasion? It’s really not that strange.
Well, in our family, Christmas is one big birthday party. Our sole lingering tradition is to bake a birthday cake for Jesus, sing Happy Birthday to Him and then have the youngest kids blow out the candles. All the other Christmas traditions come and go from year to year. (We’ve always been terrible with holiday consistency.)
And let’s discuss Christmas music for a sec here. There are some incredible Christmas carols and traditional tunes that just take us all back to a simpler time, right? They’re so rich and so meaningful. And, if nothing else, the singers can actually sing. When that music graces my ears, my heart immediately fills with awe, love and wonder as I recall each lyric as if I sang the song just yesterday. In the same way that you might turn on a playlist and light some candles in anticipation of a romantic evening, Christmas music creates a mood and an atmosphere that gears us up for a different sort of intimacy, be it a religious remembrance or a family gathering.
Listen. My heart NEVER fills with awe, love and wonder over ANYTHING on the contemporary radio today. And yet that junk gets played incessantly. Just because those artists are singing more vaguely and broadly about topics that are usually – let’s face it – less celebratory, it certainly does not mean that I need to prefer their tunes eleven months out of the year!
But all the Christmas defending aside, for those of you who generally do not enjoy the holiday as much as I do, perhaps this is my greater point: Please do not assume that because I appreciate anticipating Christmas at an early date, then I must not also be immensely looking forward to Thanksgiving. Because that’s wrong; I am. You’re in for one heck of a Thankful Game tomorrow!