The first time I hear the bells ringing at the grocery store always catches me by surprise. I am grateful for the work the Salvation Army does and I have even served as a bell ringer one year. But they get started early! Christmas displays in stores come early, we’ve already observed. But why the rush to Christmas?
I know one answer: crass commercialism! It’s hard to avoid the truth on that. Christmas is a moneymaker for every store. I don’t really begrudge that. Business owners count on a good Christmas season to overcome periods of decline during the year. While I don’t really like it, I understand it.
Maybe I’m being overly sentimental but I think Christmas is welcomed so early because we so urgently need the spirit of Christmas. Christmas takes the focus off of ‘me’ and places it on others – and that is an attitude that should prevail throughout the year. At Christmas time maybe we have a kinder or gentler disposition.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Christmas is also a time of memories. Loved ones who are no longer with us, family gatherings of the past, and special times recalled find their way into our holiday visits. Often they bring tears, but that just means they are special memories for us.
Of course as a Christian, Christmas carries a deeper meaning … a time when Emmanuel became a physical reality. It is about the birth of a special baby, but more about the significance that God would walk among us, teach us His ways, die in our place, and give us hope by rising from the tomb to reign in heaven.
It’s unrealistic to think we could have a Christmas spirit all year long. Or is it? We sure seem to be in a hurry to get there. Maybe the rush to Christmas isn’t so bad.
Thanks for reading. JD
Here’s a neat Christmas website (LINK).