Ahhh…the beginning of a new month. This is usually the time when I’m asking if anyone knows where the previous month went…and wondering how we can get it back.
Not this month. And that’s because Christmas is in 52 days!
Yes, I know, most people don’t want to hear about Christmas yet. After all, Halloween just passed and November should be devoted to Thanksgiving. Can’t Christmas just wait its turn?Reminders of Christmas have proliferated for weeks. Retailers display yuletide merchandise earlier and earlier every year. Hallmark has even institutionalized “Christmas in July” with an annual celebration of holiday movies—then and now.
Of course, the commercialism of Christmas is nothing new. A quote from the 1947 movie version of Miracle on 34th Street describes our frustration rather accurately:
“Yeah, there’s a lot of bad ‘isms’ floatin’ around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it’s the same—don’t care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck.”
Still, not all these early manifestations of Christmas are commercialized. Some result from the necessity of advanced planning. Our church distributed Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes in October for filling and return by October 30. Too early for Christmas? Not if we want those boxes delivered around the world in time to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
Or how about the many Christmas concerts scheduled for December? Rehearsals have already begun, and I’m looking forward to attending several local productions.
Of course, I’m already enjoying the Hallmark holiday movie schedule that began this past weekend. Too early? Not for me.
Is Thanksgiving getting lost in the holiday shuffle? I don’t think so. An attitude of gratitude can be prevalent every day. If anything, the joy of Christmas is the foundation of all our Thanksgiving celebrations. There’s nothing more important to be thankful for than the gift of salvation…brought to us by Jesus, the One whose birth we will soon celebrate.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are not mutually exclusive. Which is why I joyfully say:
Too early for Christmas? Never!