November 17, 2011

I Did It On November 15th . . .


Started listening to Christmas music, that is!

Don't ask me what possessed me to do it. All I know is that it was cold, rainy, and thundering one minute, and the next minute Josh and I were curled up on the couch with a king-sized fleece blanket drinking peppermint hot chocolate, eating popcorn, and listening to Nat King Cole--without shame :-)

For the longest time, I was a winter holiday purist. The Christmas season was forbidden to start until December 1st--Black Friday at the earliest--as far as I was concerned. This enabled me to fully enjoy Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday for many years, without any distractions. Well, as family members gradually stopped congregating in Sayre, PA and Waverly, NY each Thanksgiving for financial reasons . . . and as winter weather started arriving sooner and sooner in Rochester . . . and as kids grew up and Christmas day itself became a smaller and smaller observance . . .

I figured, what the heck?


This was the extent of my epiphany. The Christmas season and all of the joy, generosity, and fellowship that it embodies is already too short-lived. I don't know why it isn't in January or February when we could really use a cheerful holiday to lift us out of the midwinter doldrums. Where it stands in December, we have only just begun to enjoy winter when the aspect of the season we have so been looking forward to is suddenly over. We then find we have three more months to muddle through.

My solution is to milk the Christmas season for all it is worth. It is my goal to spread the Christmas spirit long before it is fashionable purely because it is wonderful. The gifts of life, love, and salvation that Christmas commemorates instill in people like me a profound sense of appreciation for my own life and loved ones--and for the God and Father who gave them to me. Why would I want to put off sharing the enhanced joy that comes about as a result of Christmas?

Okay, you can see right through my hyper-spiritualism. Part of me wants the Christmas season to last longer because it is just fun! It means excitement and anticipation. It means food, family, and friends. It means beautiful snow and snuggling up against the cold with someone you love. This fun might seem frivolous, and putting such an emphasis on it might seem childish; but I believe with all of my heart that this fun is one more thing that God has placed in my life to remind me of His love for me--the love that I need to share with others.


So I urge you to get on the Christmas bandwagon! Many of you beat me to the punch by participating in Operation Christmas Child, which Josh and I sadly could not do this year, but which is always overflowing with the Christmas spirit in my experience. Others have been listening to Christmas music since September . . . but for the rest of us, let’s not save it all for Christmas Day.  
And as for Thanksgiving, my formerly favorite holiday, it will do just fine thriving in the spirit of love and giving that I hope will last for much longer than just these two months of the year.

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